Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 114

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Distinguishing abstract concept from same-named publication in which it was introduced (WP:D)

Consider a situation where a sufficiently notable abstract concept, theory, methodology, etc., is commonly referred to by the same name as a particular publication (usually a book) in which it was first introduced or made widely known. It seems to me that we should distinguish the concept from the publication in such cases, but it appears that this is not being done consistently at present. Consider these examples:

Abstract concept Seminal publication Related Wikipedia article(s)
Behavioral theory of the firm A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (book) Behavioral theory of the firm; Theory of the firm
GTD methodology Getting Things Done (book by David Allen) Getting Things Done
Tragedy of the commons "The Tragedy of the Commons" (article by Garrett Hardin) Tragedy of the commons

According to the WP:Disambiguation guideline, we should ask: When sources (or Wikipedia readers in general) use the name in question, which are they most likely to have in mind? If the answer is clearly one or the other, the article should be written, structured and titled accordingly; if the answer is unclear, an appropriate disambiguation technique should be applied, possibly including the creation of separate articles for each. Yet among the examples noted in the table above, both the "Behavioral theory of the firm" and "Getting Things Done" articles are currently treated as being primarily about a book, rather than a concept, even though (I would argue) the concept is clearly the "primary topic". (Note that both articles prominently feature "Book" infoboxes, and the titles of both articles are currently displayed in italics.)

I would like to invite some discussion as to the proper way to handle cases such as these, with the related editing guidelines to be clarified as deemed appropriate. — Jaydiem (talk) 19:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

  • To clarify, what I meant by "abstract concept" in reference to "Getting Things Done" was specifically the methodology that was introduced in Allen's book of that title—not the generic phrase getting things done (as synonymous with accomplishing things, "completion of tasks", etc.). — Jaydiem (talk) 00:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Behavioral theory of the firm discusses the theory which seems to be based firmly on the 1963 book. It is not, though, about the book, or not primarily.
  • And yet the article contains a "Book" infobox, the template for which includes wikicode that causes the article title to be italicized, based on the assumption that the article title is a book title. If the primary topic of the article is the concept, rather than the book per se, then this treatment is erroneous. — Jaydiem (talk) 00:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, we have tended to wrap {{Italic title}} in infoboxes. Funnily enough in the case of taxa, which was the first to do so, we now tend, I believe, to make it explicit (since higher level taxa aren't italiciɀed). When the MOS for titles was changed to allow other italic titles, I suspect fear of the amount of work required to implement the change article-by-article prompted this approach. All the best: Rich Farmbrough10:56, 13 June 2014 (UTC).
Similarly Tragedy of the commons, while talking about Hardin's essay, discourses upon later development application and refinement of the principle.
So I would say these particular examples are not far removed from your ideal, which, broadly, I share. All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:45, 5 June 2014 (UTC).
  • Those were just three examples I came across or could think of; I suspect there are many more. Hence the apparent need for clearer guidelines on how to handle such cases in general. This goes beyond just the titling of articles; it involves formatting as well. — Jaydiem (talk) 00:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
  • It should be clear what the article is about, I doubt we need an extra guideline for that. There are some (relatively rare)pages which are effectively half-way between disambiguation and articles, having a paragraph about each of several more or less disparate subjects. These I am inclined to leave alone, forcing them into separate articles, when there's not yet sufficient material, seems officious and likely to provoke mistaken deletion. As for the formatting, it is not critical and individual examples should be simply fixed as they are found. It is important that we are accepting of contributions that are useful to the encyclopaedia. I'll have a quick look at the italicisɀation issue. Done All the best: Rich Farmbrough10:56, 13 June 2014 (UTC).
  • It occurred to me that the question I originally posed about concepts and the works in which they were introduced, when both share the same name, could just as well be applied to products and the people or companies that produce them, again when both share a name. I don't have a set of examples coming to mind at this moment, but I know there are plenty of them out there, particularly in the realm of computer software.
Still another parallel, useful for comparison, is when a band publishes an eponymous music album or song. Again, there are innumerable examples, just one of which is Bad Company (band), Bad Company (album), and Bad Company (song). We seem to have no problem creating separate articles about creator and product in that context, yet I get the impression that this is not true with similarly eponymous abstract concepts, software applications, etc. — Jaydiem (talk) 04:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
This is actually not true ("We ... have no problem"). Thousands of album articles have been deleted (some of them merged back to their artist page, some just ..poof!). In worse cases we have deleted the albums of an artist, then deleted the artist, as his albums aren't notable! So there are procedural risks and existential risks to splits of this sort. Generally we will split eponymous songs and albums if they are notable, but if the artist is a "one hit wonder" (or WP:BLP1E applies things it may be better to have a single article. I think you are correct that we have clear instructions about disambiguation, but no clear instructions about "non-disambiguation". There is no reason that we cannot have an article covering a troika of such concepts, and indeed sometimes it's the only way to do it. All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:21, 16 June 2014 (UTC).

Change to wording: Delete by redirect

This change was reverted. I believe it's needed and common sense. There is no reason to restrict consensus building to article talk pages only. Consensus can be created through any number of ways eg. RfC, AfD, any many other consensus building tools which editors have a right to use at any time. This policy, as currently written, can be used by rules lawyers to try and shut down any consensus discussion that is not an article talk page. There is an ongoing example of this. -- GreenC 15:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Given the advice there is about the action on a single page, it makes the most sense that discussion should take place there rather than, say, here on VPP. There are common sense exceptions but we want to encourage editors to keep issues involving a single article on the talk page for that article. If an RFC is needed, that talk section can be tagged with an RFC tag and will be advertized in the usual places then. --MASEM (t) 15:24, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Someone nominated a 'delete by redirection' at AfD (they nominated an article for deletion by redirection) and now someone else is saying the AfD should be procedurally closed because there was no talk page discussion. Do you see the problem? Or do you agree the AfD should be closed as an invalid nom? -- GreenC 15:50, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
What is "delete by redirection"? Does this mean an AFD where the goal is to redirect the article to a different one? That's something we don't allow as a nomination result - that's something that should be done on the talk page of the article (since the action of redirection can be done by a non-admin). --MASEM (t) 02:56, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
"Deletion by redirection" is what sometimes happens at Wikipedia:Proposed mergers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Masem is referring to WP:Speedy keep #1: "The nominator ... fails to advance an argument for deletion". The AfD in question is WP:Articles for deletion/Hawaiian cuisine, specifically this comment by User:Purplebackpack89. On a somewhat related note, I think that the WP:Deletion by redirection essay muddles things by equating redirection with deletion. Flatscan (talk) 04:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
If there is content on the page, and it is proposed that the entire content of the page be eliminated so that a redirect can be put there in its place, this is the equivalent of deleting the page. In that case, I think that it should be addressed as a deletion discussion. bd2412 T 14:46, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
It isn't though, because the content still exists in the history, and can be brought back by literally anyone. Deletion takes out the history as well, which is why it is different. --Jayron32 03:38, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Don't people already vote "redirect and delete" or "delete and redirect" to express this nuance? pbp 14:53, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Voting (not nominating) to delete and redirect is okay, since that is expressing an option that the original nom may have not considered. And nominating that the content should be deleted and replaced by a redirect is also reasonable. But do consider that making a page a redirect without admin-based deletion sometimes gets called out by inclusionists as "deleting content" (even though all the content remains under the history). If the only goal is replace (not delete) the content with a redirect, that's not a topic for AFD but one that should be on an article talk page. --MASEM (t) 15:20, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
      • The reverted language referenced in the original post seems to suggest replacing a speedy deletion case with a redirect. If something is a clear speedy case, then obviously no AfD is required. However, if an editor decides for example that Thomas Lincoln is not sufficiently notable, and should instead redirect to Abraham Lincoln, I think a full AfD is required to effect that. A talk page discussion is not sufficient to turn a sufficiently established content page into a redirect. bd2412 T 15:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
No, that's a formal merge proposal which belongs on article talk pages. There is no administrative action called for there, it is an editorial decision. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:27, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
It's not a merge proposal if there is no intention to merge any content. Suppose there's an article on a notable person named "John Joseph Jenkins, Jr."; an editor comes along and makes a separate article at "John Joe Jenkins, Jr." about a completely separate and unrelated person, who appears to be non-notable. If research reveals that the notable "John Joseph Jenkins, Jr." was also sometimes referred to as "John Joe Jenkins, Jr.", do I need to initiate a merge discussion to get the information on the possibly non-notable figure removed, and the title redirected to that of the notable person? How about this, if the article "John Joe Jenkins, Jr." is about the same person as the article "John Joseph Jenkins, Jr.", but is purely a POV content-fork containing nothing but unsourced and unsupported statements that would have no place in any Wikipedia article, should I really be asking to merge them together? bd2412 T 17:49, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
If your intent is to delete the history (of licensed contributions) than it is a deletion, if its not, its not a deletion, and no admin action is required to get it done (just ordinary editing consensus). - Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:57, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If the merge is uncontroversial, then you follow the directions for bold merges, which do not require discussion.
In performing a merge, you retain all of the appropriate, encyclopedic, non-duplicative (compared to the target article) information in whichever page is receiving the redirect tag. If, using your best judgment, "all" happens to be "zero", then you have properly performed the merge. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:03, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
There are some very good reasons to have a centralized process for discussions involving content proposed to be deleted. They attract editors who regularly deal with issues relating to the deletion of content (notability, redundancy, syth, etc.) and expose the discussion to a larger swath of the community than those who are focused on a particular article. bd2412 T 18:18, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely, which is why we have "a centralized process" for these discussions right over there at WP:Proposed mergers. (It's a bit confusing for you to keep saying the content is being "deleted", when actually the content is being "hidden in the history" or "removed" or "blanked", just like any other text that some editor doesn't think belongs on that page, without any actual WP:Deletion happening.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:17, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
      • The policy shouldn't say that talk pages are the only method for resolving a redirection dispute. Editors can AfD nom to redirect. It happens all the time. -- GreenC 15:49, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
        • If you are making an AFD nomination with the intent to simply replace the contents with a redirect (not delete the contents and recreate as a redirect), that is an improper AFD nomination, since the actual action of making something a redirect is a non-admin action and thus a waste of AFD's time. (Note, however, that a redirection result from an AFD that started as a deletion nomination is fine). Such discussions are supposed to be held on talk pages of the article to be redirected. --MASEM (t) 16:11, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
          • The policy should say that: consensus should happen on talk pages if article history is to be retained, and AfD if article history is to be deleted. It's a distinction of redirect "types" (for lack of better term) that results in a different procedures and methods of consensus making. -- GreenC 23:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
            • I don't think that the average editor is going to understand that very easily. It's true, but it's not going to make sense to people who don't fully understand the back-end processes involved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:03, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
              • That's a justification to keep policy unwritten, sort of a secret that only the experts know about. It's not fair and leads to problems, like this discussion. -- GreenC 13:55, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
        • If the proposal is to replace a page's contents with a redirect, and this seems likely to be contentious, then what's needed is "a full WP:Proposed merger", not "deciding what someone with admin buttons should do to the page". AFD is not intended to cover things that editors can do, by consensus and discussion, without any admin pushing special buttons. Merges don't (normally) require any special admin buttons, so neither you nor your fellow admins get any special role in deciding for or against them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. Delete is to delete licencing history and requires major admin action (always). If you don't want to delete history, you merge. Two different processes, for two different things, one (delete) generally requiring admin action, the other (merge) editorial action (and perhaps a slight mopping around the edges). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:17, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Nothing at WP:AFD says anything about that process having anything to do with licensing history or the need for admin action. bd2412 T 18:25, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
It's under WP:BEFORE, and this is also the reason that the suggestion of renaming "Articles for Deletion" to "Articles for Discussion" to consider merging, redirects, etc., is always rejected as a perennial proposal. --MASEM (t) 18:40, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Notability plants and animals

I have yet to see, not that I look all the time, a plant or animal (genus level or above) up for Afd. (I saw a species once at Afd, but that was probably a hoax article.) Yet when I look for a guideline on the notability of plants I do not find one. Many plants do not have the extent of coverage that seems to be required for individual people or books. Do plants and animals at the genus level and above have inherent notability, once there existence is properly verified in a reliable source? --Bejnar (talk) 01:36, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes. Werieth (talk) 01:37, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Have in mind that notability is a presumption, it's a concept we have coined inside wikipedia. If we can't find any sources talking about a garage band, we can't know in advance if there will ever be such sources, and so we delete the article if it lacks them. An animal or vegetal species is something that we can be sure, without any reasonable doubt, that it has or will have sources talking about it, simply because of its mere existence. Cambalachero (talk) 02:22, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Nothing is "inherently notable"; the community entirely rejects the idea that anything could be included if there is no possibility of meeting the inclusion requirements (roughly, notability = existence of sources × compliance with WP:NOT × editorial judgment). However, the bar for "sources" and "judgment" is unusually low for species and inhabited geoographical places. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:02, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
the community entirely rejects - Speak for yourself. I do not reject the notion at all, even if I am perhaps in a minority and it appears the community doesn't either (see NeilN below). Anyway, species have to be described in academic reliable sources, thus the problem does not really exist. If not enough sources exist for an article, a merge to the genus is usually uncontroversial. --cyclopiaspeak! 16:09, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
@Cyclopia: This is actually documented: WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES. --NeilN talk to me 00:17, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I edited the above comment. Face-smile.svg --cyclopiaspeak! 00:23, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure, and next to that routinely disputed essay, see the many archives of WP:N, in which proposals to declare something to be inherently notable have all failed and see WP:ITSA, in which "All examples of foo are inherently notable" is given as an example of poor reasoning. If the community really did accept the idea that anything is inherently notable—that is, anything should be included even if exactly zero reliable sources had ever been published on that subject, in any language or at any point in time—then you would think that someone would have, at some point, managed to get the community to agree to it.
The fact is that species aren't "inherently" notable; they're notable in the same way that US presidents are: there are exactly zero recognized species that happen to have no published, reliable sources about them (due to the way that species recognition works in the scientific world, namely by publishing a reliable source about it). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:12, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I know such proposals have failed. I disagree that the community entirely rejects it. It's not an unanimous rejection. Anyway, a subject with zero published sources about it would fail WP:V and WP:OR before than notability, so it is a non-problem, it would not enter the encyclopedia anyway. But there are instances where the two concepts clash. For example I have serious issues with WP:NASTRO. There are a lot of astronomical object whose overall coverage would easily allow articles to exist, with no OR or SYNTH, but since each individual piece of coverage in sources is an entry in a table/database or a very brief mention in a larger academic paper, it cannot meet the guideline. I understands this is fine to many people but to me it is absolutely insane. Allowing astronomical objects to be intrinsically notable would fix the situation. --cyclopiaspeak! 17:05, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
"Inherently notable" actually means that the subject deserves an article here even if it fails WP:V. That's what the word inherent means: "involved in the constitution or essential character of something; belonging by nature or habit; intrinsic"[1]. "Inherently notable" means that it "belongs in the encyclopedia just because of the nature of the subject". And as you've just pointed out, the community really does reject this claim that anything unverifiable should get an article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:35, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
actually means that the subject deserves an article here even if it fails WP:V. - Well no, it doesn't. There are other conditions to have an article apart from notability. The requirements for WP:V are much less stringent than our default notability guideline. For example, a single source would be enough for an intrinsically notable subject (and indeed for species, the species description academic article can suffice). --cyclopiaspeak! 18:21, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Not really: The very first sentence of the guideline says, "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a topic can have its own article." Notability is "the condition to have an article". (There are many other conditions on what can be put inside the article.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Bejnar, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Human and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Homo sapiens. The first is a joke, calling for deletion because there are no independent sources, while the second was real, an attempt to get rid of what the nominator perceived to be a content fork. Nyttend (talk) 21:47, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I have participated in a couple species AFDs (hoaxes: Blue Beaked Cockatoo, Dinocaeruleus smithii; actual species: Decantha borkhausenii, Banksia stenoprion). The actual species were keeps. There is a failed proposal at Wikipedia:Notability (natural sciences) that states that all species are notable. Chris857 (talk) 18:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I believe that I saw recommendations for species which have not been written about extensively to redirect to the genus, but I can't remember where. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:50, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Quite possibly monotypical genera, where there is no real distinction between the genus and the species. All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:28, 16 June 2014 (UTC).

Question regarding categories

This discussion has been moved to Wikipedia_talk:Categories_for_discussion#Question_regarding_categories

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

82.8.252.13 (talk · contribs · WHOIS) tried to create Category:Western (genre) television actors with this edit. They then began adding it to several articles. Since some (though not all) did not meet the guidelines at Wikipedia:Categorization#Articles where it states A central concept used in categorising articles is that of the defining characteristics of a subject of the article. A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define in prose, as opposed to a tabular or list form the subject as having—such as nationality or notable profession. I then noticed that it was also a red cat and began removing more of the edits. At that point an SPA made this edit and the red cats turned blue. Since then the cat has been restored to numerous articles where IMO it does not belong. I came here to get input on whether these edits violate the guidelines for categories on the articles where there is no sourcing or when the genre is not a defining characteristic for the person. Also, if this question belongs on a different page please let me know and I will move it there. MarnetteD|Talk 17:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

MD is ignoring "Notability is the test that is used to determine if a topic should have its own article." How is Category: Soap opera actors any more important than this category? The Estern genre was massive, there were hundreds of series', thousands of actors (regular cast members) and they spanned several decades. IMO the editor has been abusing policy by demanding "reliable sources" when virtually every series and actor in question is linked to IMDB (which has not been classed "reliable" not "unreliable" but in many cases in the best we have as books on these series are not going to be easy accessible or affordable. In short: a category verifiable via IMDB is better than no category at all, and men actors have been involved in many genres what exactly is "defining"? Indexing isn't about POV as much as about making articles accessible to readers, as it creates a list through which they can reach a list of names of the many actors in a genre, whether it be soaps, westerns some music genre or other. Fussing over petty trivialities as MD is is missing the point as to why we're building this encyc. and adding unnecessary disputes. His/her reverts were poorly managed, POV-based and lack, not only good faith, but an understanding of who categories are for. Not us editors, but the millions of readers who we never see: indexing for accessibility not just POV notability. But Westerns are a notable genre, all these series are created, the actors names are present in them so they are notable for that fact already. Just as lesser-actors are "notable" for appearing in soaps where there is far less recognition for them. 82.8.252.13 (talk) 18:01, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
None of this displays any understanding of the basic posiciy regarding cats as italicized on your talk page and above. There needs to be reliably sourced info showing that the genre is a defining characteristic of the person whose article the cat is added to. MarnetteD|Talk 18:18, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
And once agin you ignore the question: what is the "defining" characteristic of an actor who has had roles in several genres, when the Western genre is in itself a defining genre with a huge array of articles? Also, could you show me any editor who reads and verifies an entire article before categorising it just to be sure it meets your persona expectations? I see editors bulk-adding dozens of articles per seconds with HotCat and AWB, many are stubs 3-5 lines long with no sources at all. Do you revert and harass them also, for their good faith contributions to wikipedia? Do you abuse policy and choose to remove dozens of cats as "red cat" rather than simple add a TOC to the cat in question to confirm it? There is good faith and there is side-stepping policy to your own advantage, and it is clear for all to see that you choose the war-path instead of the honest alternative. Oh, but "you don't work for me" you say. I wasn't aware anyone did... WP:VOLUNTEER. If I don't work for you either, I suggest you tone down your critical opinions, you would have got further without mis-representing policy and making false accusations towards me in a WP:BITE-like fashion. 82.8.252.13 (talk) 18:33, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I would propose to move this discussion to Wikipedia_talk:Categories_for_discussion (and close it here) and put a request for comment at the end for it to see what others have to say about it. If response is to low after 4 days days move the discussion to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Categories and try again. Cheers Mion (talk) 18:40, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the idea Mion. The reason I didn't go to CFD first is that I wasn't proposing that the category be deleted. I know that page is titled "Categories for Discussion" but the discussions are about deletion, renaming or merging and I was not proposing any of these. Please feel free to move this to wherever you see fit. MarnetteD|Talk 18:49, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It seems the newly created category is a doublure as many of the actors also appear in Category:Western (genre) film actresses and Category:Male Western (genre) film actors (maybe i'm wrong in this), the newly created cat lacks the category nesting at the bottom of the page, 'ill move the discussion to Wikipedia_talk:Categories_for_discussion for more input. Mion (talk) 19:10, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

RFC for Template:Geographic reference

I started an RfC at Template:Geographic reference. Template:Geographic reference is a very extensively used template that, in my opinion, does nothing more than provide a hard-coded instance of ten separate and very loosely connected sources. The RfC merely asks if we should split the references out into separate templates. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 22:43, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Terms of use and relation to Wikipedia policy

In response to the new Terms of Use which now require disclosure of being a paid editor as well as disclosure of your financier discussion has begun on WP:COI as to how this relates to us. Although their current wording on the paid editor addition specifically states that it doesn't supercede the policies of current Wikiprojects, this is problematic because WP:COI is a guideline, not a policy, and stands in contradiction with their new terms of use. This is concerning to me because our policies and guidelines have always been held to be the result of community consensus, except in areas where legal concerns were important. This line in particular bothered me:

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees releases official policies from time to time. Some of these policies may be mandatory for a particular Project or Project edition, and, when they are, you agree to abide by them as applicable.

So what the WMF is saying is that at any time they can pass any policy and we would all be required to follow it. I believe the WMF is overstepping its purpose by trying to micromanage editing behaviors that pose no legal threats to the projects. I'd like to hear others opinions, but I believe we should communicate the following to the WMF:

  1. The Terms of Use should be restricted to topics that are legal liabilities to the projects as well as those that directly concern the WMF office actions, and should not discuss the general content and editing behaviors of the projects beyond that
  2. The Terms of Use should instruct users to respect the policies and guidelines of the project that they are on, and avoid trying to supercede any particular project's policies or guidelines.

AioftheStorm (talk) 05:40, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

  • An office action may be taken by the WMF as they feel fit. Terms of service is something that they decide, and does not appear to be a matter of consensus.--Mark Miller (talk) 06:04, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • WP:Terms of use is English Wikipedia policy. Terms of use are just that. English Wikipedia is in community with the WMF, appropriately, legally, financially, and operationally. Part of that English Wikipedia Policy is "if you do not agree with our Terms of Use, you cannot use our services." (WP:TOU, section 16). Questions of "legal" and "not legal" and "what concerns the WMF" are within the WMF's judgement -- we already consented to the TOU (and its changes) and the Foundation's role in it, when we used this site. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:33, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Ty Mark for the term "office actions" which I had seemingly forgotten about. @Alanscottwalker, I just want to clarify that I make no claim that the WMF is overreaching its authority, I am arguing that they are overreaching their purpose and should reconsider this change to the TOU and future changes like it that infringe upon and override previous community consensus.AioftheStorm (talk) 15:00, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

How to cite origins of an ancient idea

Template:Over-quotation links to the Wikipedia:QUOTE essay. Can we please add clarification to that essay regarding how one should handle discussion of ideas like the golden rule which seem to have originated in various forms across many religious traditions? The golden rule article includes about one hundred citations of the rule in various forms from notable sources. This strikes me as valuable because it

  1. establishes the notability/universality of the idea
  2. demonstrates the evolution of the idea
  3. contextualizes controversy over the origins of the idea
  4. allows readers to appreciate controversy over whether the sources really do reference the same idea

I find it hard to imagine the the golden rule article being of high quality without containing a large number of quotations, but the Wikipedia:QUOTE essay currently does not explain what makes the large number of quotes appropriate in that article. Can we please add some clarification to prevent overuse of Template:Over-quotation?

This request has also been posted at Wikipedia_talk:Quotations#How_to_cite_examples_of_an_idea.2Fargument Langchri (talk) 02:45, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Change proposals to WP:COP#N

WP:COP#N is that part of the Wikipedia:Categorization of people guideline that talks about categorizing biographies along lines of notability and definingness.

Several changes to this part of the WP:COP guideline have been proposed. Input welcome!

Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Categorization of people#Proposed language change to WP:COP#N

--Francis Schonken (talk) 06:29, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

About use of season

It had been told that in English Wikipedia there is a policy saying because we have northern and southern Hemisphere, thus we should not use winter/summer to refer to a date range, and instead we should use Q1/2/3/4. But I have some confusion over how to convert summer/etc. into Q2/etc. For example, a video game called Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is set to be release in North America on Summer 2014, and the 'summer' is treated as Q3 2014. But then we got Playstation TV which is going to North America/Europe by Autumn/Fall 2014. But then it is also described on the page as the release date is Q3 2014. so is the Q1/2/3/4 cannot fully carry the meaning of spring/summer/autumn/winter, or there are some mis-conversion, or something else is wrong with it thus causing potential inaccuracy/blurriness?C933103 (talk) 07:36, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

@C933103:Because there are different definitions of when seasons start and end, I use the following as a rough guide: Spring = Q1/Q2, Summer = Q2/Q3, Autumn = Q3/Q4 and Winter as Q4 2014/Q1 2015. Also feel free to use phrases like "End of 2014". So your "Summer 2014" I would change to "Q2/Q3 2014". Remember, when they announce dates like Summer 2014, it's just their best guess so you don't need to worry about being exact, because they're just giving a general window, allow yourself the same leeway, you'll be able to get a more accurate date nearer the release, and you can always quote the person in the prose Fred Bloggs said it would be released during "Summer 2014" - X201 (talk) 09:08, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
How about using "early", "mid" and "late"? --NaBUru38 (talk) 01:37, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

mobile editing and community values

Hello. Currently, the wikipedia mobile website (m.wikipedia.org) does not allow you to edit anything, including talk space, without logging in. Now, you can go to the desktop site (which is what I've done), but this seems to be an arbitrary restriction of usability based on platform rather than content. By my understanding, wikipedia and the foundation still consider the input of IP users to be more valuable than the increased effort required to police their vandalism, so why does the mobile website not allow editing? The argument that mobile users make fewer legitimate and more vandalistic edits seems at least truthy, if not true, but it feels a bit uncomfortable to me. Changing access (and yes, I do consider editing one aspect of wikipedia access; like it or not, wikipedia serves as both an encyclopedia but also a kind of crosscultural forum for expression) based on broad groupings that arent directly related to edit quality is unnerving to me. You could probably make an argumwnt that users using gentoo are less likely that most IPs to be malicious, and therefore they should be given autoconfirmed privileges, but it would be a bad road to go down in my opinion. I think the chrrent state of the mobile website is a similarly bad precedent. Thank you for your time, and sorry if this should be in technical. 97.94.188.47 (talk) 20:05, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Mobile editing is still experimental. In the past there has been some complaints from the community about large increases of extremely low quality contributions when mobile edit actions were exposed to anonymous users. I think that for that reason the mobile team is trying to be a bit more conservative in this round of Mobile Editing tools experiments. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:08, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
What TheDJ said :) Here are a few other reasons why the Mobile team initially built mobile site editing to be logged-in only:
  • It's much easier to accidentally mess up text formatting on a small touchscreen, and much harder to undo. A user who's gone through the trouble of creating an account is more likely to take time and care with an edit than someone who's just passing by and fiddling with buttons.
  • "Anonymous" in the wiki context is not actually anonymous – you're exposing your IP when you edit logged out, so your privacy is more secured by creating an account. This is a tricky concept to explain to people; on the desktop site, we get away with it by showing messages in the edit window, but that doesn't work so well on a very small screen (there'd be little space left for the edit window), so we'd have to build some kind of custom tutorial. Doable, but takes some design thinking.
  • While the IP on your home/work computer tends to remain the same, mobile IPs change as you're moving around, potentially hundreds of times if you're traveling. While Wikipedia supports "anonymous" editing in theory, in practice the community has gotten very good at keeping track of problematic IPs or associating certain IPs with certain longtime contributors; mobile disrupts their ability to do this.
All that said, keeping mobile editing logged-in-only forever isn't something that's set in stone. The mobile apps team is about to release two retooled native Wikipedia apps for Android and iOS that will offer users the ability to edit logged out on their phones, and based on the data from the first release (the quantity/quality of the contributions from logged-out users) we might decide to open up editing of the mobile site to logged-out users, too. Ultimately, if we do give users the ability to edit logged out on the mobile site, we want to have a good reason for doing so, and we don't want to create a massive stream of vandalism and test edits. Maryana (WMF) (talk) 19:05, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Publish the date for updated Terms of Use

As I opened Wikipedia today, I think I saw that the Terms of Use were updated. (I did not bother to look at the updated Terms.)

But if you could include the date the Terms were updated (just on the NOTICE that tells us to look at the updated Terms), folks could easily determine if the Terms had been updated since the last time they looked.

Thanks... John Hall — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:BCA0:EDC0:FCA0:9B46:2E6A:5805 (talk) 17:00, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

 Done - Hi John, and thank you for the suggestion. We've made some changes to the TOU pages to reflect the implementation date. You can now find which terms were in use at a particular time by looking for the date on the bottom of the terms. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 14:40, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Soliciting article feedback

There's been a dispute at cancer pain which I'd like to solicit additional opinions about. It's not specifically about the article content itself — rather, an editor recently created a special subpage which consisted solely of a brief solicitation inviting people to post to the talk page if they had feedback about the article content, which they then linked to via a dedicated "tell us what you think of this article" template inserted directly into the article itself.

I speedy deleted the page on the grounds that it was a non-article sitting in articlespace, following which the creator reinserted the same template into the article again, while this time pointing the "tell us what you think about this article" link directly to the talk page itself.

No other article on Wikipedia contains such a special dedicated metacomment box inside the body of the article, but at least one editor has since argued on the talk page that this particular one should be a special case because it's a medical article.

So the question is, is such a box necessary or warranted at all, or is the fact that the talk page of the article is already accessible via a tab at the top of the page sufficient notice of the availability of the talk page, as it always has been on every other article besides this one? Bearcat (talk) 01:29, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, that's the question Bearcat is asking. (I'm the main author of Cancer pain and the editor who added the request for feedback.) Bearcat is asserting on the article talk page that because no other en.Wikipedia article invites readers to comment on the article, this one may not. My response is that he's got it the wrong way round - that article writers may do whatever they like provided it doesn't break policy or a WMF resolution, and if he'd rather not have an invitation to comment on that page he'll need to cite policy, change policy or form a talk page consensus supporting his view.

So mine is a meta question. Think what you will about the box, but I'd like to know your thoughts on the bigger question, too: If it's not forbidden by a foundation resolution or en.Wikipedia policy but we've never done it before, are we forbidden from doing it?

For example, in that article, when I mention an obscure body part, I add a hyperlink to the relevant illustration, inline. (Find "the spinal cord (fig. 3)" in the article and click "fig. 3".) I don't think I've seen that on other articles. Should that be removed? I appreciate your attention. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 03:08, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Is there a reason why something which isn't necessary on any other article on the entire project suddenly is necessary in this particular one alone? Bearcat (talk) 03:27, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Necessary? Very little in that article is necessary. Beneficial? I'd have thought the benefit would be obvious. The article is the work of amateurs. The more feedback we get from readers (especially experts), the better for the article and the encyclopedia. Now, can you give me a reason to delete it?
Can I suggest you move this to the article's talk page, since this aspect is really just a content dispute. I'm more than happy to continue the discussion of the principle (If it's not outlawed by policy but it's never been done before, is it forbidden?) here on VPP. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 03:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Issue potentially effects every article. I answered at article talk, but I learned of the issue here. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:31, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, I'm glad to have read what is an interesting issue here, and I think a high level discussion about whether this should be allowed is a good thing. My first thought is that this kind of feedback was (for some time) present on any article for which an editor felt it necessary. Most of the arguments which led to its eventual removal would also apply to the kind of feedback request discussed here, and reading the reports and RfCs for the tool would be a good idea. My second thought is that openly requesting feedback is not a rare thing - Template:Multiple issues expressly asks for opinions on the talk page without specifying who from. Sam Walton (talk) 09:58, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Indeed. There is no need to have such a pointer specifically on this article but not on others, and should we decide that a pointer of this or a similar form were a good idea in general, it ought to be implemented centrally and in a uniform fashion via the MediaWiki software, not via an ad-hoc template. The "article feedback" feature was just such an attempt, but apparently it was deemed not very successful. General navigation aids between article and talkpage are a matter of the general wiki infrastructure, not of specific article content. Fut.Perf. 10:00, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm the main author of the article in question, and I'd like the feedback. It would help me. From memory, the AFT failed because it was put on articles no one was interested in monitoring. I monitor the article in question daily, and will happily address any talk page comments. I see no rule anywhere on en.Wikipedia forbidding me from doing this, and even if one does, WP:IAR likely overrules it. Would you be kind enough to point me to it if one exists?
There is nothing but upside for the encyclopedia here. With any luck I'll get some thoughtful advice that will improve the article. At worst, I'll take the box off when it turns out to be a waste of space or time. Either way, you need to justify stopping me. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 11:52, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually, there is a policy that says you're allowed to try out new ideas to see whether the change is beneficial. See WP:PGCHANGE. Testing out this new approach to engaging readers and editors sounds like a permissible experiment under that system. If it proves to be really beneficial, then Anthony could make a WP:PROPOSAL to adopt it more widely. "Why on this article, when it's not already being done anywhere else" is pretty much "don't change anything, ever". "Let no new thing arise" might be considered a blessing in some cultures, but it's not appropriate for a wiki. We could easily have said, "Why have a video on this article? It's never been done before" or "Why have the corporate logo on that article? It's never been done before." WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:03, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Editors who are very weak in English

In 2008, a discussion was made Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_54#Editors_who_are_very_weak_in_English about what could done to help editors who write a 'gibberish' in articles. It went to discuss Wikipedia: Local embassy and created ideas to improve people's English.

Although, this is fine, it didn't discuss a solution to a problem that is becoming more and more apparent: Users who are repeatedly making the same disruptive edits on Wikipedia, because they do not understand English to the extent to which they can understand policies, guidelines and the very warnings and informal advice given to them to help them improve their edits. Is there a policy regarding an editor who makes a disruptive large-scale good-faith edit, then receives friendly advice about it, but doesn't understand this advice, so continues to do the same thing (all the while providing no response to the warnings and pieces of advice, and never using the edit summaries), until they ultimately get blocked?

It seems that they are doing it in good faith, but their lack of English makes them frustrated and they just repeat the same mistake again and again, sometimes using sock puppets (again, they don't know any better). I don't want to see these editors blocked for good faith edits and I don't want to fill editors' talk pages with warnings and informal bits of advice, because eventually the talk page fills up with welcome messages and warnings, with no responses and it could be construed as biting/harassing newcomers. Pjposullivan (talk) 16:16, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

It's "only" an essay, but the concepts contained in it regularly serve as the basis for blocks.... WP:Competency is required. At first blush it might sound insulting, but face it... if one lacks any of the necessary skills to work in collaborative English-speaking environment they either need to figure out a means to participate despite that lack, or even the best intentions are still disruptive NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:32, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Just my experience in practice: I do try to fix any gibberish I can get the gist of, even if I have to use Google Translate. But if I can't (and I can read freaking Chaucer in the original), the only difference between the gibberish and vandalism is WP:AGF. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:46, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you NewsAndEventsGuy, that essay makes sense and is very handy. Cheers, Pjposullivan (talk) 18:10, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
The best practice to handle such problems is to discover the person's native language, and direct them to the Wikipedia in their own language. en.wikipedia may be the biggest Wikipedia (which is why others want to contribute here even if English isn't their native language); but that only means that all of the other language versions are more in need of help. Directing them to their native language works to the greatest benefit: it allows them to contribute where they can be most helpful, and where they are most needed. --Jayron32 02:25, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
At the risk of sounding cynical now, but in my experience, when people persistently try to edit here despite an obvious lack of basic linguistic competence, the problem is usually not just lack of linguistic competence. Their lack of linguitic self-awareness often points to a more deep-seated lack of competence in other areas and/or a problematic motivation in being here in the first place, which means that it's rather likely they wouldn't be of much help in their native-language wiki communities either. In the huge majority of cases, such people are here either to push some ideological/national POV, or to promote something or self-aggrandize in some way. Not that there aren't exceptions, where people (usually already established contributors in their native wikis who just occasionally drop by here) genuinely feel they can contribute to fixing some content issue using their native specialist knowledge. I've done that myself occasionally in other wikis where I didn't speak the language (and have been yelled at for it too). But then, these people are usually easy to spot, and easy to deal with, because they will be quick to show they are able and willing to engage in constructive discussion once you've figured out what language to speak with them. Fut.Perf. 08:00, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Use of "Boy" and "Girl" with respect to editors

An unfortunate thread recently unfolded (and has been closed) as WP:ANI in which two editors accused each other of racial insults. One side of the problem might make a policy addition desirable. One of the two editors referred to the other one as a "busy boy". The problem is that the editor who was so characterized was African-American. Among African-Americans, that is, Americans who are descended from slaves and freedmen, the characterization of a man as a boy is deeply offensive, historically meant to deny manhood. So my question is: Should there be a guideline, or at least an essay, that says: "Do not refer to a male editor as a boy, unless you know his age, or know that he will not be offended." Likewise: "Do not refer to a female editor as a girl, unless you know her age, or know that she will not be offended." I know that there is a very respected administrator (at least respected by me, I think that she is one of the best), User:BrownHairedGirl, who is a woman, and can be characterized as a girl by her own identification, but that is not important.) Should there be a guideline, or at least can I write an essay and enter it in main Wikipedia space? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:07, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

On the Internet, nobody knows that you are black. On the Internet, nobody but an American knows that the term "boy" is deeply offensive. On the Internet, nobody really knows anything. Should I write an essay? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:12, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm all for a colorblind society... I'm the guy that intentionally asked for a particular clerk by shirt color instead of saying "the black dude"...... but if we write a rule for everything that ever got under someone's skin once we'd crash the internet. Besides, I'm white and I've been called "boy" by belligerent blowhards more times than I can count. Take the high road and move on by civilly practicing WP:FOC. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
On the internet, lots of websites require or encourage the adoption of a username.
One such website those is Wikipedia, where I thought I might make a few edits. The radio was playing Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl, which stuck in my head, and without much thought about a handle which I expected to get little use, I adapted the song title to reflect that month's haircolour.
Eight-and-a-half years and 400,000 edits later, I'm stuck with it. I don't much like Van the Man, and as middle age beckons there are not many people who can call me girl without making me feel a little uncomfortable (tho people who say such nice things about my adminship are probably on the list!). But that's the internet for you.
In general, though, I think the best rule is the simple one which also applies to life: respect self-identification, and use the terminology that people use about themselves. I suggest that you write an essay about all the essays which have been written about this, and then I can write an essay about people who who write essays about essays. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:32, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Is there an essay about people who ignore essays? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:02, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
If there isn't, there should be. How can anyone ignore it if it doesn't exist? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:08, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Touche! Or maybe I shouldn't say that, because someone might get hot and bothered about me advocating sexual abuse? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  • In all seriousness, WP:CIVIL covers this amply. It is not possible to pre-conceive of every way a person may insult another at Wikipedia (doubly so difficult to predict where someone may also be insulted where none may have been meant), so we can't create policies to itemize them all. Likewise, it is neither productive nor useful to create a new guideline every time a new insult comes to our attention. --Jayron32 02:22, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Admittedly there is a lot of covert racism hidden in the etymology of langauge, often without anyone knowing it. On the flip side, good faith speakers are sometimes on the receiving end of the race card, in which case everyone seems to be working against Color blindness (race). It would be worthy thing to channel these efforts into improving those articles, especially the last one which for some reason is a redir to a sub article about that subject limited to the US. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, well. A hole in the ground to get oil out of. I asked a question and I got a lot of meta-discussion. There is a lot of hostile meta-discussion at Metamodernism, but at least this isn't hostile. I will drop the subject. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:02, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Is citing only one author for an article a copyvio?

My new article Nossa Senhora da Graça incident was blanked with a copyvio notice for being sourced from one author only. The article cites three sources, all from the same author (C. R. Boxer, an authority on the Portuguese and Dutch maritime empires). The concern, as commented by the editor who put up the notice, is apparently "basing such a detailed article so closely on the work of one author carries a great risk of copyvio, even if only by close paraphrasing." So my question is, can citing one author only really be considered a copyvio? Also, I don't believe that it is appropriate to put up a copyvio notice that effectively blanks the article when the editor in question is not even sure if this is a copyvio. I sincerely hope that someone with authority can see the sense in my arguments (that this is not proper procedure) and unblank my article. (Also see Template:Did you know nominations/Nossa Senhora da Graça incident and Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2014 June 27 for supplementary arguments pertaining to the article itself.) _dk (talk) 02:55, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I did not want to blank the article; but the copyvio notice I used seemed the best fit for the problem I had encountered when reviewing the article at Template:Did you know nominations/Nossa Senhora da Graça incident. It is a pity that it blanks the page, and if anyone can identify a tag which notes the problem without blanking the page, that would be useful.
The substantive issue here is is whether it is appropriate for Wikipedia to carry such a detailed article based solely on the works of one author. Even if the article has been written without any close paraphrasing, it seems to me to be very hard to avoid getting at least into grey territory with regard to copyright.
I think that this question does need examination, particularly since the article has been nominated to be be linked from the main page. We do need some sort of guidance here on how this sort of usage fits within copyright obligation, and within Wikipedia's sourcing guidelines. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 03:24, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Under Wikipedia:CP#Instructions_for_special_cases, you'll see "If you suspect that a page contains a copyright violation, but you cannot find a source for the violation (so you can't be sure that it's a violation), do not list it here. Instead, place {{cv-unsure|_dk (talk)|2=FULL_URL}} on the page's talk page, but replace FULL_URL with the full URL of the page version that you believe contains a violation. (To determine the URL, click on "Permanent link" in the toolbox area, and copy the URL.)" That is the template you're looking for. It's hard to AGF when your page is blanked. _dk (talk) 03:40, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
The tag for a single source (multiple publications by a single author may be construed as a single source) is {{one source}}. It is very easy to write an article with zero copyvio and only one source, just like it is very easy to write an article filled with copyvios and use a dozen sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: As a general principle, yes it is possible to use a single source without copyvio. But this case is an usual one, because there is such extensive use of a single source. Is there any policy or guideline on this situation? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Not specifically. If the one author is the only possible source, then it fails notability and other requirements to base articles on "multiple" sources, but that's about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:00, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I could argue that there is the case where the author is the noted expert in the topic and thus sourcing everything to that author makes the most sense, but in such a case, I would expect that searching of other references to the topic will pull out more details. Eg, could we source the entire Civil War to Ken Burns? Perhaps, but clearly there's sources beyond Burns about the Civil War. And in fact we'd strongly discourage this type of approach, wanting to see the large variety of sources available to be more useful to our readership. But this is unlikely going to be the case in the scenario this thread is describing, where the number of sources is about a topic is small and possibly only attributable to a single author. --MASEM (t) 02:38, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
(ec) @Underbar dk: Sigh. The sources are those cited in the article.
If the consensus is that this sort of use of sources is acceptable, then the page can be easily and quickly unblankked. Until then, please try to focus on the substance of the issue. Continued wikilawyering simply clogs up the discussion and reduces the likelihood of third-party input to to rsolve the situation. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:10, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  • As an independent and neutral reviewer, I am going to remove that copyvio notice. Using a single book as a source is not a copyvio; it may not be great sourcing, but it's not copyvio. I'll put the one-source tag on in its place. Risker (talk) 04:24, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely not a copyright infringement (if no close paraphrasing is present) and I have no idea how it could be thought of one. High quality magazines such as The Atlantic regularly contain long form pieces summarizing at length one written work (usually a book) with no copyright concerns whatsoever. --NeilN talk to me 04:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
If you wrote the article in your own words its never a copyviolation, as for the facts about the captain and the ship that they are single sourced, that maybe the case on first sight, but they are not to hard to verify, as the incident happened in the area where the VOC captains where sailing it is prob mentioned here [2], VOC archive 1600-1800. The portugese archive contains similar captains letters and log books, the mentioned books are a long time time around and if the writer had stated wrong facts about the ship another naval historian would have that published in an article, these archives are pretty well researched.Mion (talk) 07:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the policy sought out here is WP:AGF. Unless you have the source to verify a copyvio as the case, or someone has made a complaint, the article should be assumed - in good faith - to be free of copyright violations. - Floydian τ ¢ 03:08, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

  • For an obscure incident that took place in the middle of the sea off East Asia some centuries ago, and involved no English-speaking people, it is far from surprizing if all the best sources in English are by one historian. To deflect suspicious reviewers it might have been politic to reference some reviews of Burns' work that more or less endorse him, or just another tertiary reference, even if it does nothing but cite him. Johnbod (talk) 16:16, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

After marking for notability - what next?

I encountered an article that has notability problems - Bob_Mayer - and marked it as such. Is there a formal review of articles that have been marked? What happens next - should I wait a while and mark it for deletion if it isn't improved? How long should I wait? etc. Thanks, LaMona (talk) 16:03, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Generally you should give time for editors to see the tag and try to fix it. Generally about a month or so is the minimal amount of time. If after that there's been no improvements and you can't find sources yourself, then the next step would be to nominate it for deletion at WP:AFD, though the steps listed at WP:BEFORE should be taken first. --MASEM (t) 16:06, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That's the kind of info I needed.LaMona (talk) 00:03, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Showing logos for Wikipedia Library partners on a WP: page

Hey folks, We have great partners in the Wikipedia Library who have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of individual accounts. For purposes of acknowledgement as well as easy identification, I'd like to use their logos (Intended Logos) on a single WP-namespace Wikipedia Library page that lists the journals, and on the individual WP-space signup pages for the free accounts. The image would look something like the above. What do you think? Cheers, Jake Ocaasi t | c 13:34, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

If the logo is free, there's no issue, but for non-free logos like JSTOR, we do not allow non-free to be used off mainspace. This was actually asked for an exception a few months back at WT:NFC , some editors wanting to make an exception for logo for entities that were in partnership with wikiprojects; this did not gain consensus. --MASEM (t) 14:01, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
The discussion was here. Thincat (talk) 07:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

No more job postings on Wikipedia

Hi, i would like to ask the community how it sees an expansion of the current policy Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox_or_means_of_promotion to prohibit recruitment from the WMF or a Wikimedia Chapter on the Wikipedia as seen on Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_127#I_need_some_good_devs and Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions#Interesting_job_opening.

I dont think it would effect the recruitment for the WMF [3] or Chapter much as both have websites with place for job specifics and there is META, next to that, if people are very active on a subject they are already in touch with the people from WMF or the chapter in solving or managing the issue.

The reason for not allowing it from Wikipedia's side is that we have from the beginning a non-paid volunteer community and its a bit depressing if people drop in from time to time to declare that we are in the wrong place, better move to the parallel structure and get paid for what you are doing now.

What would change ? Wikipedia pages may not be used for advocacy unrelated to Wikipedia, WMF and Wikimedia Chapter recruitment, but pages in the Wikipedia namespace (also known as "project namespace") may be used to advocate for specific viewpoints regarding the improvement or organization of Wikipedia itself. So essays, portals, project pages, etc. are part of what Wikipedia is.

So, is there support for the addition , or maybe totally not :)? Did i miss a relevant viewpoint ? Mion (talk) 17:03, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

These are the WMF's servers so if they want to offer a job that is targetted towards editors of WP, I see no reason why not (in fact, they're had site headers that have been more obnoxious from some users' standpoints before without asking us). Any other third party, no way, but that's sorta of appropriate for the WMF to do so. --MASEM (t) 17:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
At the moment of the creation of the Chapters and the WMF it was explicit mentioned that the Wikipedia project makes her own decisions, now its not about who runs the hardware, but about the question do the job postings result in less motivated volunteers and people leaving and if so should we ask WMF and the chapters to stop it, as less volunteers is not in their interest too.Mion (talk) 17:52, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
(Posted both here and the Signpost talkpage.) I'm really not seeing the problem here. These are jobs supporting the community, and both the community and WMF would presumably quite like the people doing them to have community experience. Indeed, one of the biggest causes of friction between the community and the Foundation has been WMF hiring people who don't come from within the community and find it difficult to understand. Remember, these are postings in the Signpost - not banner ads or notes in articles, which probably would be inappropriate.
Secondly, I think that policy has to be read with some common sense. It also prohibits "opinion pieces", and it would obviously be silly to apply this to a community newsletter! We've been including chapter/Foundation/WiR/etc job openings in the Signpost on and off for a few years, and it's generally been seen as a positive thing; I don't think an overly-strict reading of this policy should be taken to prevent it, for no real benefit to anyne. Andrew Gray (talk) 17:44, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Stop the "citation needed" nerds

I'm a well-educated, occasional editor of Wikipedia articles. I'm also a constant reader of Wikipedia, and appreciate greatly the vast areas of knowledge available easily and in depth.

Now for my complaint and policy suggestion: it appears that there are a number of editors who liberally sprinkle "citation needed" entries generously in serious articles, written by serious people. I have read many of these articles, where the author is clearly knowledgeable and authoritative on the subject matter - only to have the article put in question by all these "citation needed" entries. Enough. First of all, not all knowledge can be cited. In law, everything depends on precedent - but not for all knowledge.

When a fact is stated, a citation is not always needed. The nerds that go around devaluing others' work by entering "citation needed" everywhere do no one a service. They should be limited in this exercise by a change of Wikipedia policy. My suggestion: if they feel one is needed, then a comment should be made to the article's author or to an appointed editor.

My firm belief: these "citation needed" entries cast discredit on Wikipedia itself, and unnecessarily so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oleh77 (talkcontribs) 17:15, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Almost all Wikipedia articles of any significant length are the work of multiple contributors - there is no "article's author" or "appointed editor". Your proposal is entirely impractical, regardless of the merits or otherwise of your arguments. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:20, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Verifiability is one of this encyclopedia's foundational principles. That doesn't mean every sentence requires a blue number after it, but all articles must be clearly based on mainstream secondary sources, not on any one person's ostensible expertise. Articles don't have an "author" here, and we don't judge an article by whether its contributors are "serious people". —Designate (talk) 17:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Oleh77, some of those tags are appropriate, and some are not. If you see some that aren't appropriate (someone once fact-tagged a sentence that said humans normally have four fingers and a thumb, and even among the well-intentioned, people will sometimes add fact-tags when the citation is right there at the end of the passage), then you can remove them. Similarly, if you see something (like a direct quotation, statistic, or anything at WP:MINREF) that should have a citation and doesn't, then you can add one. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:56, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
@Oleh77: Please wrap the discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Stop the "citation needed" nerds (or this one, doesn't really matter) in {{discussion top}}/{{discussion bottom}} - per WP:MULTI the same discussion shouldn't occur in more than one place. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:34, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Stop the "unsourced claims" fools

I'm a well-educated, regular editor of Wikipedia articles (even an author of several, such as Debtera and Magical Treatise of Solomon). I just about consider this project to be a divine mission.

Now for my complaint and policy suggestion: I know from experience that there are a number of editors who liberally sprinkle unsourced statements generously in serious articles, sourced and verified by serious people. I read many of these additions, where the editor has at least convinced themselves that they are knowledgeable and authoritative on the subject matter - only for them to be completely ignorant that books often exist on the subject they're writing on and that their additions will look far less spurious if they add a small reference tag listing a book title, author, publisher, and page number. Enough. While not all knowledge can be cited, such subjective knowledge is out of place in the objective and verifiable site we aim to be -- See WP:Verifiability, a cornerstone of this site.

If something is stated as a fact (or even attributed as a notable opinion), a citation should exist for it. The fools who go around devaluing others' work by adding unsourced statements do no one a service. They should be limited in this exercise by following Wikipedia policy, or going further. My suggestion: if a statement remains unsourced, anyone is free to remove it.

My firm belief: Unsourced statements that need citations cast discredit on Wikipedia itself, and unnecessarily so. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

There's often a gap between what Editor #1 believes "needs citations" and what Editor #2 believes, with equal sincerity, does not need citations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:56, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
If there's a citation later down the line, a CN tag is inappropriate, but the OP spoke plenty about "authority". Ian.thomson (talk) 22:23, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Oleh77, you started your argument by calling those who disagree with you "nerds" and "fools". That is unacceptable behavior here on Wikipedia, but I am willing to make an exception in your case. May I have your permission to use similar terms to describe you? --Guy Macon (talk) 22:46, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

As a user I find "citation needed" notices useful. On the other hand, there are some odd articles with very few citations yet which should be preserved. The tags are a compromise which works well. Mydogtrouble (talk) 02:46, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Mythology

The MOS has guidelines on fiction, in particular that it should be described from a real-world perspective rather than an in-universe perspective. Am I correct that these guidelines also apply to mythology? Robert McClenon (talk) 18:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

The distinction doesn't apply to mythology articles, not unless you're trying to write them from the viewpoint of the mythological subject that is. Which would be rather a strange thing to do. Eric Corbett 19:29, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
What do you mean that the distinction doesn't apply to mythology? Either myths are treated as fiction, or they are something else. I created an article about a mythical Irish princess, circa 1000 BC, and it was tagged with the {{fiction}} tag, which was partly correct because portions of it were in the simple past tense. (The story is even more implausible than most Irish legends, because she had one son who had her three brothers as his three fathers.) Writing about a mythical character from the viewpoint of the mythical character is not strange, because some fantasy fiction is written in the first person. It is true that Wikipedia should not be written in the first person. However, myths, like fantasy and science fiction, have their fan base, who will write from the in-universe perspective. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:22, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
They are something else, as mythological creatures/princesses aren't fictional; a work of fiction has an author for instance. But are you talking about real mythology or about fantasy fiction? Different conventions will apply to each. Eric Corbett 20:31, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
What do you mean that different conventions apply? Either it is written as fiction or it is written as history. Also, real mythology does have authors in the sense of scribes who wrote down the mythology. Irish mythology, for instance, is recorded in two medieval texts. What convention are you referring to? Robert McClenon (talk) 21:12, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Scribes and authors are fish of an entirely different colour; one records and the other invents. The convention I'm referring to is the one that you refer to at the top of this posting. "Real mythology" doesn't have authors in the sense you're trying to use the term, but in the specific example you've given you're apparently talking about history rather than mythology, so once again the in-universe distinction doesn't apply. Eric Corbett 21:37, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The Green children of Woolpit article may help you to understand what I'm talking about. Eric Corbett 21:48, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the green children of Woolpit may be a confused historical account, or may be a myth. There is no way that Clothru is anything but a myth. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:53, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
No. The example that I am discussing may have been thought to be history in the past, but it is now recognized to be mythology. I think that my real question has been answered, which is that an article about a mythical person should avoid using the simple past tense. That is, don't write: "She seduced her brothers", but "She is said to have seduced her brothers." No one today could believe that a woman could have a child with three fathers. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:51, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
That's a distinction without a difference, and in point of fact it's not impossible to have a child with more than one father. Eric Corbett 21:54, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Way I would handle it: If the figure has some historical basis or possible historical basis, that portion should be treated as potential history or pseudohistory (whatever the sources describe it as). If it is a matter of belief, it should be treated as belief (neither as fact nor fiction). If no one freaking believes it anymore (and the original adherents probably understood the myth as an allegory), go on and treat as fiction. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the myth was intended as an allegory. The legendary history of Ireland is not an allegory, but was partly believed to be true and was partly a nationalistic construct. No one believes it any more. (I assume that the reference to a matter of belief has to do for instance with chapters 1 to 11 of the Book of Genesis).— Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])
I was replying to the OP's general statement, not specifically commenting on the myth you cited. I was thinking more about Jinn, since I was just reading about them. The diverse interpretations of the various stories in Genesis 1-11 cover all three categories. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:49, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Reverted edits

Twice, recently, I have added facts to a person's biographical information in his/her entry and cited credible sources for my information. Both times, I have found later they were "reverted."

My problem with this should be obvious. I'm adding verifiable facts based on reliable sources while other Wikipedia entries are riddled with ad copy, opinion, and, in some cases I'm sure.

Rick Sutcliffe's entry has a whole paragraph taken directly from an ad for his speaking services. How is that objective and thus reliable.

Both of the reversions pertained to the subject's sexuality. Maybe that's it.

Sammie Rhodes Tim Cook — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjacton (talkcontribs)

This isn't the help desk, or the talk pages for those articles, or the user talk pages for the users that reverted your edits, but...
This edit did not cite a source, but jumps to the conclusion that bisexual activity means bisexual identification (activity and identification are not necessarily the same, we need a source where she or someone quoting her explicitly states that she identifies as bisexual).
Reading the talk page for Tim Cook, I see that there's a number of editors there whose understanding of WP:BLP is that since he does not go about discussing the matter, it is (at best) undue weight to discuss his sexuality. If there were additional sources discussing Out magazine's inclusion (instead of citing the same list in Out magazine three times in three different ways), it'd be more likely to stay.
Ian.thomson (talk) 20:45, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

More Leniency on Notability Requirements?

After having some in depth discussion on notability, particularly regarding notability in music but this can also apply to notability in general, I thought a discussion could be brought up regarding the current notability guidelines in that perhaps they are a bit too strict. I am of the opinion that if there is at least one good source out there, then we should be able to cover that subject. I will quote some of the discussion that I had in the Notability in Music talk page. I will note that I am only quoting my own statements in the discussion as I didn't want to carry over everyone's comments without asking their permission first.

"I would simply like to bring up a discussion about why there is so much emphasis on the need for musicians, artists, bands, and albums to have a certain amount of notability in order to have articles? Throughout the years, I have used Wikipedia as a valuable source in researching about various bands and their music that I would not have otherwise discovered had the information not been here, notable or not. It seems to me to kind of defeat the purpose if we're all the sudden only interested in music that's 'important enough' only. Why limit what could be valuable information for people? Some information is better than none."

"Exactly. Album information is very useful. It would be a shame to see a lot of valuable information be erased because the albums were not notable enough and the information could not be properly merged into the artist article."

At this point, somebody replied to me with the argument that if we did that, it would be like covering every non-notable product any significant company released, or covering all non-notable films any significant actor was in. I replied with the following.

"Actually, believe it or not, I wouldn't mind if we had more in depth information about more obscure products or films and other things that are made by otherwise notable people, companies, etc. I like to read Wikipedia to discover things. That's what an encyclopedia is for. Information on subjects. If we become so limiting in the information provided due to lack of notability, then we limit the amount of knowledge that can be discovered. I'm not saying we should treat Wikipedia like a directory or anything like that, just that maybe the current notability guidelines seem a little too tight."

"As for the notability guidelines, maybe tight isn't the best word. When I said the guidelines were too tight, I mean they were too strict. More clarity could actually be a good thing. I agree with you there. But I think requiring three to four external reviews is too much. I think if it gets at least one external review, that should be enough. Again, that's just my opinion. But I wanted to bring up the point to see if anyone else agrees."

Essentially, I believe that with the current guidelines, we are limiting the amount of legitimate encyclopedic information that we could be providing due to our current notability requirements, and I wanted to bring up this discussion to propose that we change the notability guidelines to make them a bit less strict. I am not suggesting that we forget citing sources, as citing sources is very important, nor am I suggesting that we turn Wikipedia into a directory. I would love to discuss this to see what others' opinions on the matter are. Jair Crawford (talk) 17:08, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I lack experience in the music pages so take w/ grain of salt..... this sounds like a proposal to create a directory that would include pretty much any album, which something different than an encyclopedia. It would help a lot if you illustrate your general remarks with the proposed new language

NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:33, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply and input. I'm not by any means suggesting that we include any album. I'm simply suggesting that albums should not be deleted when they've been reviewed and they are by a significant artist. One review should be enough for notability, in my opinion. Especially if it is by an already notable artist. I do realize notability is not inherited. If an album by a notable artist does not have any sources or reviews, then obviously it should not be included.
I am not sure what you mean by 'the proposed new language'. I am relatively new to editing. Could you explain what you mean by that?
Also, while this discussion started initially on the subject of music albums, I think it can easily apply to other things as well. Hence why I decided to keep the subject more broad in the description.Jair Crawford (talk) 17:39, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Great minds bring up new ideas to make things better here all the time, and that starts with making a proposal. You have told us the goal (loosen N standards). Well, look up the current text that tells us how Notability works, and figure out how that text would have to be changed to accomplish your goal. That is the basis for a meaningful proposal.... not just the goal, but the mechanism that will achieve it. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:54, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the clarification. Ok, so I went ahead and looked up the text for general notability, and since this discussion originated on the topic of album notability, I looked up the text for albums. I was actually surprised that the current text is rather general.
Currently it reads, "An album requires its own notability, and that notability is not inherited and requires independent evidence. That an album is an officially released recording by a notable musician or ensemble is not by itself reason for a standalone article. Conversely, an album does not need to be by a notable artist or ensemble to merit a standalone article if it meets the general notability guideline. Album articles with little more than a track listing may be more appropriately merged into the artist's main article or discography article, space permitting."
Now based on recent discussions I've had on some album pages that have recently been nominated for AfD, it seems like an unwritten-rule has been in circulation for a while. This unwritten rule is essentially 'An album should have at least 3 to 4 sources or reviews to be considered notable'. I think that is too strict. And there is nothing to suggest that in the text. So perhaps if a line such as "An album should have at least one review." should be added to the text? The albums I've been recently discussing not only have Allmusic reviews, but reviews from Cross Rhythms as well, yet the consensus seems to be that they are not notable since that's only one source in addition to Allmusic. Again, this seems to be an unwritten rule of some sort. Jair Crawford (talk) 18:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
In my experience, if an album is reviewed in at least two reliable sources (particularly if they come from this list of recommended sites/publications), that is good enough to meet WP:NALBUMS. Could you point me to an AfD where the album in question has been reviewed by both Allmusic and Cross Rhythms?  Gongshow   talk 19:29, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes.  Gongshow   talk I will link the article and the AfD page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Your_Love https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/The_Power_of_Your_Love Forgive me if my links aren't in proper syntax. I'm very new to editing. That's one out of about five early albums by that artist that have both the Allmusic and Cross Rhythms reviews that are currently AfD'd. Amendment: the albums were actually reviewed by ACMusic and Cross Rhythms, not AllMusic. A bit of an oversight there on my part, but I feel my point still stands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_in_High_Places_%28Hillsong_album%29 This article does have an AllMusic listing as well as a Cross Rhythms review. All of the albums in this particular case have a review with Cross Rhythms. So that is one solid review for each of them. Now under the current guidelines, that should be enough. There seems to be an unwritten rule about the amount of reviews needed though.Jair Crawford (talk) 22:32, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
We require significant coverage by multiple sources, so one in-depth review, while good, is not sufficient to keep an article. Note that while having two such reviews is consider a reasonable baseline, the more you can show, the less likely the notability will be challenged later. --MASEM (t) 06:27, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I just looked it up on the general notability guidelines, since I couldn't find anything on the number of sources in album notability. It does say that multiple sources are generally expected, but it also says that there is no set number of required sources. So as the wording currently stands, it can be left open to interpretation. The wording probably should be a bit more clear there. I'm of the opinion that as long as there is one good reliable source, then that should be enough. But that's what I originally posted on here to propose, so we've come full circle. Now that I'm considerably more in-the-loop (thanks for the clarifications) I'd like to hear people's opinions on this. Jair Crawford (talk) 06:44, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
True, there are interpretations on how many sources one needs, and sometimes one can get away with a single source, but that's extremely rain and where the source is an authoritative one that other sources could likely be found through it. A single review from a cite that aims to review all music releases is not that - it's good as a starting source, but not alone. This is why universally we ask for two or more in-depth sources (in this case, reviews). The thing to remember that the GNG is not an end point but a means to an end, the presumption that with what is given by the GNG type sources, we can ultimately find more and build out a better encyclopedic article. One review for an album is not going to show that. --MASEM (t) 13:27, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Fair point. I guess I'm just one who tends to lean towards preserving as much information possible over removing articles. Now, I do agree that some articles do need to be deleted. But for me, those are articles which have absolutely no sources, which there are quite a few of on Wikipedia. Jair Crawford (talk) 17:15, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  • We already permit articles on almost anything connected with music, way below the notability standards for many other subjects. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:59, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
It seems as though people are trying to tighten up the notability for music though (see my above reply). I believe instead of making notability for music stricter, that we should make notability for other topics more lenient. Now, I did look up the text for general notability, and again I was surprised that the text was once again, rather general. Jair Crawford (talk) 18:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
@Jair Crawford: I fear this is due to the influx of social media ie. YouTube where anyone can post their wares and have a significant response, which does not provide nobility. Mlpearc (open channel) 18:27, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
That's a good point. The articles that brought this to my attention though are by a very notable artist and they have at least two (turns out it's actually one review. The other source is a listing) reviews as sources. I provided links in one of my replies above. They are actually older albums that came out long before youtube even existed, and they had some coverage. Jair Crawford (talk) 22:32, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I would say the "notability standards" are the same for music as those other subjects. The difference is that music is a topic covered with far greater prominence in the real world. That inherently creates more coverage and a greater chance of passing WP:GNG. Resolute 19:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
WP's goal is to write encyclopedic quality articles, not just to document the existence of verified information. We want to have articles provide enough context for readers to understand the weight of topic to the real world, and hence why we ask for articles that have good secondary sourcing in addition to primary and tertiary, so that context is provided. Our notability guidelines provide for presumptions when those likely will exist, if they aren't already clear already, and hence why they seem strict, so that we can be sure in the future we can develop a useful article. If in the case of a non-notable album by a notable band that information can be discussed in the notable band's article page, and redirects/disamb provided since these pages are cheap. --MASEM (t) 19:15, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks to everyone for their input so far. I'd like to hear what more opinions anyone may have on the subject. Again, to clarify after the discussion we've had above, my proposal is to make the notability guidelines a little bit more lenient in allowing an article with at least one good source to be considered acceptable criteria to be kept. Jair Crawford (talk) 17:15, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
    • It seems to me like the notability policy is just a stricter version of the verifiability policy and exists to increase the factual accuracy of Wikipedia. Maybe what you think is called notability is actually indication of importance. It makes sense that one source is not good enough for notability when {{Refimprove}} exists and that template is probably for articles that need more sources for which some exist and haven't been found, not for which no more sources exist. In my opinion, the more reliable the sources are, the fewer of them are needed to make a topic notable. I agree with you that non-notable topics can mentioned in an article about another topic that has information connecting the two topics, just like the topic Hart House Chess Club is in the article Hart House (University of Toronto). Blackbombchu (talk) 00:40, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I am opposed to any reduction in the strength of the notability policy and indeed believe that a much better case is made for significantly strengthening it. BLP violations abound in little-seen, marginally notable articles. They often become part of walled gardens. The main reason we have a "paid editor problem" is the extremely low bar of notability. No, I'd say that "increased leniency" in notability is precisely the opposite of what is good for the encyclopedia. It might be cool for the garage bands trying to sell their music, but that's not our purpose. Risker (talk) 23:11, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm much of Risker's mind. Rather than "anything with one good source is okay", I'd support something more like "anything with less than two good sources is never okay" (keeping in mind that what matters is the number of sources published in the real world, not the number of sources someone typed into the current version of the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:10, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • As I've said before, I think the notability policy , or at least a notability policy based on the GNG, is nonsense. It prejudices the encyclopedia towards all subjects that are covered y the sort of media easily encountered on the internet. The bias noticed above in favor of popular music articles is not because there is more written about them, but because there is more written about them in the sort of sources WPedians are comfortable with and can easily access--and the same goes for popular sports. DGG ( talk ) 22:39, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • If anything, I am rather strongly in favor of making making the notability guidelines more restrictive, so that 3-4 in-depth sources are required. In this age of 24/7 drive-by media saturation, it is bordering on trivial for an event or a person or whatnot to be picked up by a couple of media outlets. Tarc (talk) 22:46, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    • That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I've been working on a number of articles on notable subjects lacking citations (governors of Roman Britain) & using a single standard reference to fix the problem. Yes, I could add more sources to each article -- although that would reduce my already small efforts to a negligible flow. There are simply some notable subjects where a single reliable source is satisfactory for creating a Start class article. (And in the category I'm working on, there just isn't much more to be said about the subject than would meet Start class standards.) -- llywrch (talk) 16:38, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I believe we are too lax with notability requirements as it is. We already have different notability standards so a football player who is on the pitch for 5 seconds in a certain type of match without even touching the ball gets an article, as does a minor celeb (and almost all are minor) where a an academic who is renowned in their field has to leap over a sensibly high bar to qualify. Raise the bar for the rest to the standards for an academic at least. Fiddle Faddle 22:54, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Question on NOTBLOG/NOTHOSTING

Hello,

Is there any type of enforcement of WP:NOTHOSTING? When I see this user page, I'm not sure it fits "being used primarily to present information relevant to working on the encyclopedia". I'm not saying there's any harm done to the encyclopedia per se, but I don't see either anything that the user couldn't do elsewhere, like a personal blog or a personal computer. (Same question asked on the user's talk page) Place Clichy (talk) 15:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

What happened to the 'Contributors' button at the top of every history page?

You know, it showed all the top editors of a particular page, how many edits they had made, first edit, last edit, that kind of thing. It was alongside the 'number of watchers' and 'page view statistics' utilities. Now it's gone. Anyone know what gives? Thanks. Vranak (talk) 03:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

It was hosted on the now-defuncted Toolserver. --Mdann52talk to me! 10:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That's too bad, it was a very handy little tool. Thanks for explaining. Vranak (talk) 13:14, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I liked it too. Hope it gets reincarnated.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:33, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
@Vranak: Are you referring to the items at the bottom of this page ? [4] Mlpearc (open channel) 13:51, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Hey great, an alternative! Thanks Pearc. Vranak (talk) 14:18, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
It is now included in the very good (if long) "Revision history statistics" on that line at page history. Johnbod (talk) 00:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Dating articles, use of the word "currently" without a date provided

Too many articles use the word "currently" without any reference to when the "current" date applies. The problem would be eliminated if Wikipedia automatically included the original date of publication of articles near the header/title of all articles, along with the date of the most recent edit. If authors would include a date similar to "currently, as of xxxx," the problem would be alleviated.

Perhaps Wikipedia could generate an automatic super-script following the word "currently" when no date is provided, like the [citation needed] seen so often? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mach37 (talkcontribs) 19:24, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

(A) checking your contribs (a whopping 6 over 7 years) it's hard to get very excited, but thinking about it...
(B) brainless date stamping would likely be rife with unintended consequences and less effective compared to judicious manual editing, e.g., "As of June 22, 2014, this editor is opposed to this idea." NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:45, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
You are quite correct N. On the other hand I have seen articles where events added years ago are labeled as "current" - I sometimes wish we had a bot that would remove the word as soon as it shows up in an article because "current" so soon isn't :-) I am kidding (for the most part) I know we mention this situation in the MOS somewhere. Cheers. MarnetteD|Talk 21:42, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's in WP:RELTIME. You can mark up these statements with {{when}}. AutoWikiBrowser could probably be used to effect this change without the use of a bot. Since AWB is generally subject to human overview, this would probably be a better solution than a bot. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 22:12, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
As an AWB editor, I would just like to point out that there is a problem with this solution, in that an AWB editor has no idea when a "currently" statement might have been added to the article. Since the largest AWB runs (like the current 70,000 article typo list) involve editors without necessarily any expertise in most article subjects, it's going to be hard for an AWB option to be productive, and is likely to generate a lot of invisible errors. VanIsaacWScont 05:07, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
It would be better as a manual AWB task which is what I think was meant. As an option it would create the difficulties you describe. All the best: Rich Farmbrough18:48, 23 June 2014 (UTC).
I'm wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to program {{as of}} to output a maintenance category when it contains no date parameters, then have AWB or a bot task add {{as of}} to any instances of "currently" that don't already have it. It would help keep Category:All articles containing potentially dated statements complete (by adding the {{as of}} template to statements that have a plain text "as of" indication) and also give a good working category for finding instances of "currently" that aren't more specific. VanIsaacWScont 20:58, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

The phrase "as of X date" is better than currently. But it's better to write "since X date". --NaBUru38 (talk) 01:40, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

"As of 2013" and "Since 2013" do not mean the same thing. Consider this data:
Year Amount
2011 15
2012 17
2013 17
The amount is 17 as of 2013, but it has been 17 since 2012. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, if one wanted to get overly-technical about it, it has been 17 since 2013. That's just not the whole story, since it was also 17 in 2012. While "since" implies a time of origination, that's all it really is, an implication. All that said, I'm probably nit-picking. DonIago (talk) 13:29, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
irony alert The overly technical would observe that based on this data, the status subsequent to 2013 is a mystery.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:33, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
"The amount is 17 as of 2013, but it has been 17 since 2012" - Yes, that's why I said that "since" is better: it includes more information. --NaBUru38 (talk) 02:07, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
But it also implies erroneous information, specifically that it is still 17, even though we have no data for 2014. It suffers from exactly the same problem as "currently" does - it conveys false certainty about an unknown current state. VanIsaacWScont 02:23, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Since what I was thinking of was a "number of times X happened in the year", the status of 2014 is unknowable. "There have been 17 cell phone thefts each year since 2012" is completely accurate; "As of 2012, there were 17 cell phone thefts" is suboptimal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, my experience is with things like populations - a count not of frequency, but of physical objects - where "since" is unambiguously bad if the number is changeable. But you're still working with a dated usage unless your 17 cell-phone thefts gets updated on January 1st. The unambiguous wording for a "17 cell-phone thefts per year" would be "in year_x and year_x+1" or "from year_x to year_y", not "since year_x". VanIsaacWScont 07:07, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Anyway you look at it "currently" or "as of" both read badly and smack of non-encyclopedic recentism. I cringe everytime I see something like that in an article. Spartaz Humbug! 05:57, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── See WP:DATED. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:36, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Almost the only time I encounter DATED is when someone's abusing it, by tagging paragraphs that say things like "In the 18th century, few people ever traveled more than 20 miles from their birthplaces, but now it is not unusual for people to travel 20 miles in a single day." Because, you know, "now" is ambiguous and next year, people might suddenly stop working more than a 10-minute walk from their homes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I don't like the "as of" in the article text either. I would much prefer for a template that makes a hovertext-style note with as-of information. VanIsaacWScont 07:11, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

One thing possible is simply to point out more vigorously to article authors the disadvantages of present-tense writing. I see too many articles where it's obvious no one has thought of it at all. A present tense article is foredoomed in too many cases; it's not neccesary. Also my impression is that writers promoting products and using Wikipedia space to do so have this habit. Or it appears so to me. Mydogtrouble (talk) 01:37, 7 July 2014 (UTC) I got a chance to look at the style page and there was no explicit guide to tense, except in biographies (prefer present tense for the living.) Mydogtrouble (talk) 02:37, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there a category which highlights articles (or sections) written in the present tense for editorial revision? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 03:42, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, just urge writers not to do this. I've come across many cases where 100 yo+ PD sources were copied, including "today" or "currently" etc.. Johnbod (talk) 22:32, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

WP:QUOTE

Could the community please look into the situation where we have a unregistered IP deleting quotes from well over 250 articles, whilst having no intention whatsoever of transferring to Wikiquote. I personally believe that these mass actions are disruptive and not in the interests of the Encyclopedia. As I see it WP:QUOTE is not a policy, but a guideline and some quotes are relevant to the article. There is some discussion of this on Dennis Brown's Talk page. The attempted discussion on the IP's Talk page have been deleted almost as soon as they have been posted.

Community advice is appreciated. With thanks, David J Johnson (talk) 10:16, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Actually, it isn't even a guideline, it is an essay (I missed that at first). I would disagree with the premise of it, that you can't ever use "Quotes" sections in articles. There are a number of times when it would be totally appropriate and beneficial. Not all, but many, thus wholesale deletion of these sections should never be done simply out of the fact that an essay say so. Dennis Brown |  | WER 10:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Link to the IP's edits please? Can't find one either here or in Dennis's page. Fut.Perf. 10:29, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Link here: User talk:64.4.93.100
      • Ah, thanks, found it too in the meantime. Well, all I can say is, in the half-dozen or so random cases I briefly looked at, the removals seemed to be proper. Actually, pace Dennis, I personally find it quite hard to imagine any situation in which a bare list of quotations, not embedded in context and discussion and without a clearly documented policy of selection, would be beneficial to an encyclopedia article, so I'd say that as a general rule of thumb their removal is likely to be beneficial. If anybody thinks a specific quote or group of quotes is useful, by all means reinsert it, or better: integrate it in the text where it makes sense.
        I also don't buy the claim that this should not be done without transferring them to Wikiquote. I can't speak for the anon, but I personally happen to think that Wikiquote is a crap project with 90% crap content and negligible educational value, so if it was me, I would certainly never add anything there. You can't demand that somebody should volunteer to add crap to a heap of crap as a precondition to be allowed to remove crap elsewhere. Fut.Perf. 10:44, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Agreed. I often come across quote being added out of context to biographies and articles that are vulnerable to nationalistic editing. Dougweller (talk) 10:50, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
        • I'm not arguing that all quote sections make sense, and have said that many of the deletions were probably good ones. I'm arguing that "all quotes sections must be deleted" doesn't make sense and that some discretion should be had. When someone is wholesale deleting them at this rate, it demonstrates that they are seeking them out and deleting solely for the reason that they exist. That isn't good editing, that is a mission based on the point of view that all Quote sections must die. I don't see that policy supports removing them in this fashion. Dennis Brown |  | WER 15:08, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

While many of the deletions may detract very little from Wikipedia, some are of value and in some cases simply need moving around the article to provide better context. One of the issues here (and I raised the point at ANI before becoming aware of the discussion here) was that there is no way of knowing what of value is being deleted and what is worthless that deserves deletion. The editor appears to be simply deleting anything under the heading ==Quotations== without any thought. The edit summaries are useless and repetitive. I suspect that this might better be resolved at ANI rather than as a policy issue. The policy works reasonably well provided editors are thoughtful, considerate and have the greater value of Wikipedia in mind.  Velella  Velella Talk   11:13, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I am not. As I already said I leave sections that provide value like at Yogi Berra. But most of these sections do not provide value here. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 13:10, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Presumably you are using your own personal judgement to make that evaluation? How that that relate to the judgements of the very very many other Wikipedia editors who may have different opinions? That is what discussion and consensus is all about. Individual editors have taken the time and trouble to search out each and every quote that you have deleted, believing, in their opinion, that it added value. In many cases a quotation may not add value but it should only be deleted with a reasoned argument and not with a blind and blanket application of guidelines (not policy) with a cursory edit summary  Velella  Velella Talk   13:20, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
If you think more should be added there then you do that but I'm not going to add quotes without sources and there are barriers to adding quotes with sources. WP:NOT is policy and it says lists of quotes don't belong on Wikipedia and like I said it's not a blind and blanket application. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 13:25, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Quotations sections including randomly listed quotations are not all “heaps of crap.” There are as many articles offering valuable quotations in an informative manner at Wikipedia as there are articles with useless ones. One can loathe Wikiquote but it nonetheless exists and the same observation applies there as well (Italo Calvino quotations, for example, are worthwhile despite the still crude state of the article). I think it’s wrong to defend any mass deletion policy based on an overzealous application of the rules that borders on thoughtlessness. IP 64.4.93.100 has interpreted the rules and carried out edits accordingly. The question is whether his/her interpretations and actions are correct. If consensus agrees, so be it. But the bigger question should be, as Velella has wisely pointed out, whether or not edits are “thoughtful, considerate and have the greater value of Wikipedia in mind.” At present, IP 64.4.93.100’s edits are more disruptive than constructive. A reasonable proposal would be that he/she stop this disruption and await consensus. The fact that 64.* is still bulldozing his way through swathes of Wiki forest proves he’s not interested in discussing the matter (the reason why several editors consider these edits as “sophisticated vandalism”). One should also note that IP 64.4.93.100 is deleting entire sections of pertinent and captioned photos using WP:NOT and the statement at Wikipedia:NOTGALLERY: "Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files" to justify the deletions. But what exactly does that statement mean: that valuable captioned photos must be integrated within the article and not arranged within a section? And where it does it say that one has the right to continue deleting entire sections without a minimum of debate first? I agree, finally, with the fact that "there is no way of knowing what of value is being deleted and what is worthless that deserves deletion." So cut the excès de zèle and discuss first. --Jumbolino (talk) 12:47, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • You are a very rude individual WP:CIVIL. When I tried to seek consensus on the article you did not respond. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 13:25, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Please stop your manipulation of the facts: you never tried seeking consensus with me. Show me the proof that you tried BEFORE making your deletions. As Vellela has already noted, you simply delete using repetitive edit summaries in over 200 articles. Had you sought consensus, you would have waited at least a day before deleting to allow time for consensus to form. --Jumbolino (talk) 14:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I posted to the talk page of the Damian Pettigrew article on June 30 and took out the gallery on July 6. You didn't respond to the talk page post until July 7 and then only had continued WP:CIVIL violations. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 16:42, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • False. You posted your declaration and deleted minutes later on June 30 - which is consistent with your behaviour of 30 June. I reverted your edit (leaving a summary edit) which you then reverted in turn. Your edit was effaced within two hours by a Wiki Administrator when you were blocked for edit warring for 72 hours, and restored to my last version. Your Block log preserves all record of this. That you’ve chosen to forget the facts proves my point about manipulation. You have also deleted all comments on your Talk page as soon as they have been posted, which suggests no attempt on your part to seek consensus. Indeed, I suspect the idea of seeking consensus is simply a new ploy. Be that as it may, I have asked you to explain what Wikipedia:NOTGALLERY means for you so that we can debate it here and hopefully reach a conclusion. I'm still waiting. --Jumbolino (talk) 17:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • No Wiki Administrator made changes to that article. I did post to the talk page on June 30. I did take out the gallery on July 6[5]. You did post to the talk page only on July 7 and made rude remarks. So nothing I said was false and much of what you said was. Plus you admitted I was right so maybe it's your "pride" that is hurt. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 17:16, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Wrong. No Wiki Administrator made changes to the article but to its edit history: your edit (blanking quotations & gallery) was reverted and effaced due to your edit warring. Those are the facts, that is precisely what happened on 30 June and the way it works during 3RR, and you're welcome to take it higher. I also never once "admitted you were right" anywhere at Wikipedia. I have no idea what you're on about or what you're smoking but it's all good clean fun in the end. --Jumbolino (talk) 17:25, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • You reverted the edit to that article, no one else made changes or changed the history and Wiki Administrators RESTORED my edits on other articles. You shouldn't try to lecture people on policy when you have no idea what you're on about. You also restored part of my edit when you read my talk page post about guidelines [6]. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 17:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • False. Proof of the Administrator edit is in your Block Log: useless pretending otherwise. And I definitely did not restore your edit. I chose to exercise logic based on the fact that quotations listed in the article were already posted at Wikiquote, and a template already present in the Wiki article. There was no need to clash over whether or not to keep various quotations or to transfer them. Any more gripes I can fill you in on? Still waiting for your definition of Wikipedia:NOTGALLERY. --Jumbolino (talk) 17:47, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I was blocked but that doesn't mean my edits were reverted or effaced, you just don't understand policy or Administrator actions. But good you agree that logic supports my removal of the quotations. 64.4.93.100 (talk) 13:03, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Jumbolino: why don't you just pick out one or two examples of articles where 64.* has removed a quotation section, and specifically tell us why you think it should stay? Fut.Perf. 13:41, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
What would that solve when my focus is on consensus regarding the rules so that we can all apply them without conflict? My line of argument (as I have amply stated) is on obtaining consensus first given a deletion policy that several editors consider disruptive. And to make my point as clear as possible: delete all you want provided it adheres to Wiki Guidelines and policies. But do it provided there's consensus to avoid personal interpretations of the rules. --Jumbolino (talk) 14:14, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
You seem to be demanding somewhere above that people ought to discuss and await consensus in each individual case before deleting something. That is not how consensus-based editing works on Wikipedia. WP:BOLD applies. Fut.Perf. 14:25, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
That's not what I'm asking, let alone demanding. Editor 64.* deletes sections (let us assume in good faith) but raises concerns among several editors about policy. The WP:BOLD business has already been applied. This has raised reservations and caused an incident of edit warring. So the situation is one in which editors excercised BOLD, edit warred, followed by more editors raising doubts about mass deletions. There are editors on this page who suggest applying consideration, thoughtfulness, and consensus-seeking given the situation of 64.* who may or may not be misinterpreting guidelines/policy. Why should the actions of 64.* be approved and the voices of editors with doubts be ignored? I, for one, want to know what Wikipedia:NOTGALLERY means exactly before risking an edit that may not be in accordance with definition. Using WP:BOLD, I could edit what I think is right but that (for me, at any rate) would be simply anything at all, resulting in editors reverting my edit or raising serious doubts about it. --Jumbolino (talk) 14:41, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Unraveling a mystery - Prose and Lists

I was looking into how to properly cite a bulleted list and stumbled onto something of a mystery. Where did the current policy/guidelines for Lists and Prose come from? I started searching proposals and archives and could only find a smattering of random discussion but nothing conclusive. Much of the earliest discussion appears to have been lost (or at least I can't locate it/don't have access to it) due to the removal of sub-pages. What I have been able to piece together is rather interesting:

The first concrete list of wiki policy/guidelines is created, Use short sentences and lists is created a few days later to flush out the "Rules to Consider". These rules were accepted as guidelines in the early days of Wikipedia while proposals were being heard for the Manual of Style. That's when something strange started to happen. Several sections were replaced as a "minor" edit and completely re-written. This started a series of edits which were not formed by consensus but mostly done by a single user - by December the section was transformed and now included this gem. That one edit set the tone for much of what came after, despite its unfair comparison.

In 2004 Writing better articles came along. A good idea as an essay but people started merging the guidelines into it and redirecting without consulting anyone. In all 12 redirects were changed without consensus and even in direct violation of keep decision(s).

There wasn't much discussion about embedded lists after that, mostly stand-alone and by this point it was skewed by the non-consensus changes. It established an generally incorrect method of doing lists according to most style guides, it gave a false indication that WP:NOT applied to embedded lists.

The WP:NOT was eventually corrected, but unfortunately not before the language had become far more inflammatory. There was a chance that it would be caught with the 2007 Audit, but it was not to be as the two assigned to the job didn't edit again for several months and failed to address any embedded issues. In addition to these events bulleted lists was added, without consensus but within a style guide that was in fairly frequent use at the time, and conformed to the "Use short sentences and lists" and "Make only links relevant to the context" guidelines. In a slew of edits that were contradicted, reverted, resulted in a 3RR, and contradicted guidelines on the page he was editing; the Chicago Manual of Style inspired rules were replaced with completely arbitrary ones.

In all it only took the unilateral actions of 3-4 people to start an echo chamber effect and completely re-write many of the rules wiki was founded on. I propose we go back to those original documents, compare their intent to the policies/guidelines we have in effect now and adjust any which have become more WP:BURO than user-friendly. (Like needless pros & instead of simple short lists, balanced articles, etc) JMJimmy (talk) 13:28, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Without addressing the substance of your comments (yet), I'd just like to say thank you for performing this research. It should be copied somewhere permanent for future reference. — Scott talk 15:58, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
It was a lot of fun actually. I learned a lot. I just wish I could have found the conversations that led to the "Rules to Consider" - wikipedia-l mailing list didn't seem to contain anything substantive and the rest, mentioned in passing, seemed to indicate they were in /Talk /General sub-pages that no longer exist. JMJimmy (talk) 16:20, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I've done a bit of that sort of research myself and I agree that it's fun (but then again my field is archives, so I'm biased). Recentism isn't just a problem for our articles - vast parts of our structural underpinnings are undocumented and only exist to be found by grubbing through old page revisions or looking at Nostalgia for ancient versions of pages. In other words, c2:OldRulesWithForgottenReasons. A lot of it is due to the transient nature of Wikipedia's editor population - go back far enough and you find, as in your examples, all sorts of changes made without explanation by people who are no longer around to tell us why. The closest I've seen anywhere to an attempt to rectify this history gap is Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Register, which is obviously for style matters only, and is woefully incomplete anyway. I think it's high time that a parallel effort was begun for guidelines and policies. If anyone would be interested in forming a working group to build a Policy Register, please get in touch.  — Scott talk 19:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a really good idea. I think it would be a great thing to do in conjunction with a gradual review of policy/guidelines and it's current effects compared to the historical intent. It'd be a massive undertaking either way. JMJimmy (talk) 20:23, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep in mind, WP's policies and guidelines aren't prescriptive but descriptive. If there was an issue when certain language was introduced if it really had consensus years ago, but now is readily accepted today, that probably means the guidelines/policies are reflecting practice, even if establishing that practice could have been considered a tainted process. I'm not saying this is necessarily the case here; most policy/guidelines additions that aren't done in good faith are usually caught and removed quickly. --MASEM (t) 01:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
WP:CON is not assumed for polices/guidelines, regardless of good faith or time passed. JMJimmy (talk) 01:02, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Further detail, the redirect change linked above was made in response to Wikipedia:Categories_for_deletion/Log/2005_May_16#Category:Wikipedia_style_and_how-to, instead of simply applying the category changes he took it upon himself to do a bit more than that. At the time it was redirected it was flagged as a guideline, however, there were only 12 people watching the page at most so it went unnoticed. Then 5 months later the update to the manual of style goes unnoticed because, as long as no one looks too hard, it looks like a simple redirect bypass. I'm not saying this was intentional, far from it. Simply that it's easy to see how it would go unnoticed, especially given the user who made the changes (who was made an admin a couple months before the MoS change). JMJimmy (talk) 04:12, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Consensus was assumed for policies and guidelines back in the day. We didn't formalize the WP:PROPOSAL process until the end of 2008. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:43, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll have to locate it but I was reading something from Larry on the subject from back in 2001 JMJimmy (talk) 18:49, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • To say that policy is descriptive, not prescriptive is 'ideally' correct, but false in practice. In reality, in most discussions people simply point at the policy or guideline, and use it as 'proof' of consensus, which is the exact opposite of what you have stated. It is quite rare for things to actually be debated on the merits of the actual issue at hand...pointing at some project page is usually seen as a 'trump' of whatever the argument is. This can lead directly to cases where a significant number of people, possibly enough to sway consensus, actually disagree with a 'rule' but are given the direct impression that it is not worth arguing because 'consensus' obviously disagrees. People need to be encouraged to simply use the policies and guidelines as a 'guide' to what consensus is currently 'assumed to be', not blindly cite them when it is obvious that a person is aware of the policy and disagrees with it, and to accept that a 'locally established' consensus can decide to IAR and do things differently, and their choice to do so can be used as evidence in a discussion on the policy/guideline talk page about changing it. A lot of the 'MOS drama' about things like CITEVAR and ENGVAR is simply a huge pile of BURO ignoring the simple principle: a group of editors involved with an issue can, by local consensus, choose to ignore any guideline. In some cases the 'site consensus' is really that there is no 'guideline' other than follow the consensus of the involved parties, but it's been exploded into thousands of words. In other cases, the guideline is used as a hammer to nail down good faith disagreement about what is 'best for the reader'. Reventtalk 02:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

WP:Translation clarification - crosslanguage coordination

I'm translating several articles from English to Greek (context note: articles related to pseudoscience). Some questions that have come up:

  • Is it reasonable to attempt to "coordinate" articles in different languages - for example, when an addition to one wiki is rejected due to questionable sources, is it reasonable to remove it from the other wiki as well? Or to propose an edit to both wikis, and remove it from both if it's rejected on one? I can provide a more specific example to illustrate the point if necessary.
  • Do Arbitration Committee Decisions apply to all language wikis?
  • Are discussions and consensus decisions in one language relevant to a wiki in another language, or do we have to separately discuss the same thing in each community?

Basically, I'm thinking about keeping it simple, and having similarly structured articles for easier editing and verification, with less duplication of work and contradiction between different wikis. --Mg009 (talk) 21:09, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Quick replies:
  • It hasn't been tried much, but you're free to do so.
  • No.
  • No. However, most communities end up with fairly similar standards. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:38, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

When a project encourages content forking

Bannered routes of U.S. Route 15#Remington business loop and Bannered routes of U.S. Route 29#Remington business loop both cover the exact same stretch of road (I rewrote the former to make this clearer). After my edits to the latter, directing readers to the former (and changing redirects to point to the former) were reverted, I took it to the WikiProject. As of now, consensus is that content forking in the form of copying entire sections from one list to the other is completely OK for the sake of "comprehensiveness". This is obviously BS, but trying to get others to agree is like leading horses to the desert. --NE2 23:28, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think what is happening here is accurately described as a "content fork"... We don't have two articles covering the same topic... We have two articles on distinct topics ... each with a very short section on the same sub-topic. This is appropriate since the two roads overlap each other at the Remington business loop. I see nothing wrong with each article repeating the same text to cover that bit of road. The rest of the two articles are very different. Blueboar (talk) 00:28, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The business loop is a pair of separate routes - US 15 Business and US 29 Business. The "bannered routes" lists are simply separate such routes plopped together because they'd be too short on their own (see Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Rockland County Scenario). --NE2 01:02, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Article Wizard creation category, possible mistake/bug

I recently created the article Generosity: An Enhancement, the usual way. Unbeknownst to be me, another editor had created a Draft for it a few days earlier. (This is not a coincidence, the other editor also created a redlink to the article which I followed up on.) He then added material from his draft, at which point the article became part of Category:Articles created via the Article Wizard. That strikes me as a little peculiar. His draft version is still present, now with a warning that the same name exists. I'm not sure how the article got in the category in the first place. I have no idea if this is a bug or a feature, so I'm guessing as to where to mention it. Choor monster (talk) 18:14, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Choor monster, as a possible error in the Articles for Creation process, it probably should have gone on WT:AFC, the talk page for the AfC process. I marked the draft as "should be merged to the existing article". As of this post, the category is no longer on the article. APerson (talk!) 13:09, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Should we issue warnings to users for their username who have never edited?

Wikipedia talk:Username policy#Should we issue warnings to users for their username who have never edited?

Views sought ^ –xenotalk 15:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

NHS hospital trusts

Does Wikipedia have a policy on NHS hospital trust articles? For Royal Berkshire Hospital there is one article for the hospital and the trust but for Royal United Hospital there is a separate article for Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust. Biscuittin (talk) 20:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

If both are notable then they should have articles. In many of these cases, the notability of the hospital predates the existence of the trust. In the few cases where these might share an article, the article should bear the title of the main content which will almost always be the hospital. Also bear in mind that some trusts only have one hospital and other trusts multiple articles, so always having an 'extra' article can make sense for completness. So if you look at it it may be better to always have two articles for clarity in the various category trees and lists. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Biscuittin (talk) 14:50, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Information about performance, finances, staffing etc. is normally only available at Trust level. Trusts are often merged or otherwise reorganised. The actual hospital usually persists, but may be managed by more than one organisation during its life. So it make sense to have an article about a Trust and separate articles about any hospitals it manages.Rathfelder (talk) 20:50, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Opinions needed for an RfC

I just opened up an RfC over on Treats! available right here . Feel free to stop by and give your opinion. Kosh Vorlon    12:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Bot creation of articles

The creation of articles by bot on other Wikipedias has been much in the news lately. However, this recent request by , for example, was talked out. As can be seen the objections were not to the creation of articles by bot per se, but to the creation of articles at a standard which is currently accepted if created by a human.

While I would not propose the unregulated mass creation of short stubs by bot, I believe it would enhance the progress of this project towards it's goal of making human knowledge freely available, if we were to have a policy which allowed for the creation of articles by bot, where there is a distinct set of subjects, about which a useful amount of information is available, as was the case in the above-mentioned example (which proposed "start class articles rather than stubs"). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Template:Powertrain

Template:Powertrain contained some trade names and I have added some more. There are still more I could add but it is beginning to look crowded. Should trade names be put in a separate template? Biscuittin (talk) 14:55, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Colour or Color?

Why don't we use "Colour". Without trying to diss or outrank either culture, might I point out considering it is the ENGLISH language then shouldn't we use the ENGLISH spelling? I appreciate this may have been discussed, however it is extremely confusing how the spelling of a few countries such as America is used instead of the spelling officially in the English dictionary. This is on the article Color Please review. Thank you --WARNER one (talk) 16:35, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Please see WP:ENGVAR for when we use the US vs UK spelling when there are strong national ties. --MASEM (t) 16:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Color is an English spelling. —Farix (t | c) 22:20, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, America is an English country meaning that color is English.--67.68.162.111 (talk) 23:07, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Colour is also English. You both need to read the policy that Masem linked to as well as Comparison of American and British English. If an article is about an British person, place or thing - colour is used. If an American p,p or t - color is used. Respect for both countries spelling, dating etc. is a hallmark of editing at Wikipedia. Please try and observe this. MarnetteD|Talk 23:21, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you need to reread my statement and pay particular attention to the article. —Farix (t | c) 12:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Both spellings are English. Linguists tend to document the common use of a language as its "correct" use (see Linguistic description), because prescriptive grammar usually amounts to preaching one's sins as gospel. Over half of all English speakers are American. And as the largest dialect in American is the Southeastern, y'all need to start using y'all more often.
And from a prescriptivist perspective, colour is more in line with its French origins, but color its ultimate Latin origins. Traditio adorat Americae.
WP:ENGVAR seems like a totally acceptable compromise. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:24, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
"Over half of all English speakers are American"? Tell that to the (East) Indians... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:10, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
And I think he must be aware of it. See for instance [7] and [8]. He does seem to have a problem with America though given his edit summaries. Dougweller (talk) 16:14, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
There are even words within English that vary in spelling with no national demarcation - artefact vs artifact. Are you planning to lay down that one is OK and the other is not all right?— Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎Peridon (talkcontribs) 22:09, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
That has a strong "national demarcation" - "artefact" is not ok in American English, but is predominant in British English. Johnbod (talk) 23:59, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
And in my uneducated opinion, "gray" and "grey" are equivalent and without much national tie. Chris857 (talk) 03:58, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Gray tends to be associated with American usage and grey with British, but you're right, both can be found in both varieties. (Then there's greyhound and Gray code, which are thus spelled no matter how you spell the color.) --Trovatore (talk) 05:31, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I understand and generally happily accept WP:ENGVAR, but the Color article is one I truly find quite hard to read, probably more than any other impacted by that policy. It grates so hard against some great English teaching I had in my youth. I suspect I'm not alone. I wish we had a better way of handling this sort of very blatant seeming spelling difference, rather than just deciding to use one variant completely at the expense of the other. (Yes, I know the alternatives are mentioned at the beginning, but that doesn't help me read what my brain keeps telling me are misspelt words.) HiLo48 (talk) 04:19, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but if we changed it to your preferred spelling, someone else would experience the same psychic pain that you are feeling. So there is no equitable way to fix this, because no solution presents a case where what you describe doesn't happen for a sizable number of English speakers. --Jayron32 04:33, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
We'll, of course there is an answer: write both articles. We just don't think that is a price worth paying. Perhaps for a few high profile articles it might be, though. LeadSongDog come howl! 04:39, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
[AFter Edit conflict] That's obviously true Jayron. That's why I didn't ask for it to be changed to my preferred spelling. I said "I wish we had a better way..." Maybe there could be a very small subset of articles where the difference is as painful as this one is to those brainwashed into using the other spelling variant, where we create two versions. A user could switch between versions with the click of a very obvious button at the top of the page. As I said, I can usually cope, but this one reads like fingernails on a blackboard. Or should that say chalkboard? (See, that difference I can deal with!) HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
And LeadSongDog and I have said almost the same thing there. HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Why would two articles be a reasonable solution? Is the concept spelled color in North American varieties of English distinct and different from the concept spelled colour in Commonwealth varieties of English? If not, why do we need two different articles about the subject? Because a u or lack thereof bothers a small subset of people? --Jayron32 19:29, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Spelling is a non-issue. Any English-speaker will know what is meant whether it's spelled color or colour. The real problem is where there is a difference of meaning e.g. tabled. In theory, it would be easy to avoid using phraseology that causes this sort of confusion. In practice, editors don't have it front of mind. See for example the opening of Québécois nation motion. DeCausa (talk) 21:09, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Seriously everyone will understand.--Good afternoon (talk) 03:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I hope that someday you will be able to complete your study of English, so that you might have the opportunity to read some works by American authors, as well as the fine works by those from the Commonwealth. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:33, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
From a technical perspective, i think its possible to make a string that shows depending on your ip location or wiki of origin. {{localspell|usa|color|rest|colour}} 16:52, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The "{{localspell}}" idea given above would have far greater cost than benefit; it would make article source more difficult to edit, and would never be consistently applied anyway. A much better alternative—for the relative few to whom this issue is a big hairy deal—would be for someone to write some client-side Javascript code that dynamically swaps British and American spellings, one way or the other, for display in the browser. All that would be needed is a set of substitution rules (or a lookup table) to refer to. Users could then select a preference for British-to-American spelling conversion, American-to-British spelling conversion, or no conversion. — Jaydiem (talk) 01:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Not really related but some words such as "Tongue" to "Tung" by Webster were not accepted as well by the public. Okay now for the related bit, as for the article I can argue the same thing about the usage of date, I am used to dates such as July 18, 2014 and not 18 July 2014, it took me awhile to get used to it here on Wikipedia that is all I can say. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

IP edit Twitter bots and possible semi-intentional trolling/outing

We've now seen Twitter accounts set up for CongressEdits and ParliamentEdits. And now there are similar accounts for the North Carolina General Assembly, the Australian Parliament, the Chilean Congress, the Irish Government and the French National Assembly—and there's plenty more. It's not just governments but also now the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). User:Edsu's software to do this is open source.

On the one hand, this is no bad thing for transparency. There have always been politicians (or their staffers) fluffing their biographies, removing their now uncomfortable views and scandals of yesteryear.

But how far is this going to go? As I said, there's now at least one of these accounts set up for a non-governmental organisation—PhRMA. The transparency case is far harder to make for non-governmental organisations. It'd be useful before people start creating loads of these to work out how they fit with Wikipedia policy. What happens when the Palestinian editors set up "@EvilIsraeliEdits", and then the pro-Israeli editors set up "@HamasFanEdits"? What happens when people start guessing at IP addresses and then using this kind of bot to try and out editors they dislike? This could easily become a platform for outing and off-wiki harassment. At the same time, there are people who legitimately want to run one of these bots to monitor specific industries or organisations—I've had discussions with people who have asked exactly where policy stands on this and I've ended up saying "well, it sort of depends on the whims of ArbCom and ANI". Any ideas on what guidance we could give to people contemplating setting up one of these bots? Where's the line here between transparency and being a jerk? —Tom Morris (talk) 08:20, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Please explain how this could be/ lead to outing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:21, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Collecting together and disseminating a list of IP address which are supposedly linked to a particular business, organization or person without any real confirmation, then blasting that out over Twitter seems like it could be harassment if it is incorrect. There are FOI requests which help us know that a particular IP address belongs to the Houses of Parliament, but for other stuff, there's a problem of inaccuracy. If I set up a Twitter bot called "@AndyMabbettSockEdits" and had it repost a few IPs I think belong to you, that's kind of outing/off-wiki harassment, even if it turns out to be inaccurate. Okay, in that case it's fairly obvious. But what if I set up "@IsraeliShillEdits" and started claiming that some IPs are pawns of the Israeli government? There's an attempt at outing a user as being an employee of a particular government or organization.
I don't ask this theoretically. There are people who have told me they want to set these bots up as a way to provide some kind of oversight of particular industries or organisations and they want to know where the line is—when does it become off-wiki harassment? —Tom Morris (talk) 13:30, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Setting up "@AndyMabbettSockEdits" my be harassment, certainly dishonest, even libellous, but it's not outing unless you post it here. However, none of the accounts in question are about people, but institutions. With that in mind, I asked you to "explain how this could be/ lead to outing". You have not done so. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
My question here: what is actionable to us? {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 14:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Nihiltres: The actionable bit is: (a) we need to work out whether or not setting up a Twitter bot to "monitor" edits of people you don't particularly like might count as outing/harassment, and (b) given the sort of trollish behaviour that the CongressEdits bot is causing those in Congress to make, whether long-term soft-blocking might be a desirable solution? —Tom Morris (talk) 10:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── For (a), I think the answer is clearly "no". Setting up a Twitter bot is only practical if the information is already mostly public—the only real connection that could be "outed" would be an IP to an organization or individual, and only when they're editing anonymously. It could be used as a component of other harassment, but I don't think that it would constitute significant harassment per se aside from being strange and perhaps uncomfortable. If someone were to set up "@NihiltresEdits" tomorrow, I'd be a bit uncomfortable, but it's not like anyone interested couldn't get the same through Special:Contributions/Nihiltres. For (b), I don't think that we need any particularly special reaction: if the edits are disruptive, temporary blocks may be justified to prevent further disruption. If not, we should remain open to contributions as usual. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 14:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

duplicate

(This is a duplicate of a post at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest. The Village Pump may be a more appropriate forum.)

Wikimedia's Terms of Use were updated on 16 June 2014 and included, in Section 14, a prohibition on paid contributions without disclosure. The opening section of the FAQ page notes: "Some contributors do receive payment for their edits. These contributors improve the overall quality of the projects when they edit with a neutral point of view ... On the other hand, paid advocacy editing - i.e. paid editing of articles to promote companies, products, and services - is strongly discouraged or banned on most, if not all, the projects."

An ANI complaint has been started over a series of edits I carried out at A2 milk—an article that was a low-quality stub. I was paid a fee to edit the article to improve it, and have posted a disclosure notice at my user page. The intention was not to promote the product and at that ANI I have described the context in which I began. I am now accused by several editors of trying to inject a promotional tone, although the editor who lodged the ANI, User:Stalwart111, has since agreed[9] "the article is not now promotional" — an achievement reached fairly rapidly through the normal collaboration process and mainly due to the intervention of User:WhatamIdoing. (Once he left it all turned to shit).

So here's my difficulty: I have honestly attempted to work within the rules on paid editing. Though I don't attempt to promote A2 milk, other editors have seen this as an issue of Paid advocacy, public relations, and marketing. The ANI has now led to a proposal against me for a topic ban on A2 milk. Given the long-standing antipathy towards paid editing, it strikes me that any kind of paid editing, however well intended and though within the Terms of Use, could be interpreted as paid advocacy, PR and marketing. Those taking the high moral ground will always assert that someone in my position is driven by a requirement or agenda to promote, which in a discussion board where the hounds are baying for blood, is a position rather hard to fight.

In short, the rules may allow paid editing, but the community may not. If that's the case, why have the rule? Is there in fact a need for a better forum than ANI in which to examine claims of paid advocacy? I'd appreciate some thoughts. BlackCab (TALK) 06:24, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

That's a serious issue, and so it is appropriate be at AN/I. There is no need for another board.Forbidden User (talk) 08:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In 20 words or less, please restate each question you have in a numbered list. It may be that ANI is the place to discuss part; and somewhere else to discuss another part. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 10:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

This is a duplicate of a post at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest. Please discuss there. In future, please post pointers, not duplicates. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Notability of academic journals

From time to time, an article on an academic journal is taken to AFD for lack of notability. More and more frequently, I am faced with arguments (explicitly or implicitly) calling for ignoring all rules, even if an article on a particular journal does not meet WP:GNG or WP:NJournals. The justification usually comes down to "Articles on scholarly journals should be presumed notable; we owe it to our readers to allow them to investigate the sources we are citing to document other WP articles." (Carrite at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Journal of Bengali Studies). This argument is also given by non-peer-reviewed magazines (for example, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Technologist (magazine)). I have given my opinion to the contrary at length at the AFD for the Journal of Bengali Studies, so I refrain from copying all that stuff here, but can do so if people think it is preferable. I would like to know whether the community at large here feels similar: should we include articles on all academic journals without exception? Should I stop wasting my time with lengthy (and repetitive) arguments about notability for journals? For years we have used WP:NJournals to good effect, but if we're going to go for IAR in these cases, that doesn't count for much. Opinions welcome! --Randykitty (talk) 17:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

No we shouldn't. There are some journals that are reliable sources for our articles, but the source is a non-notable publication. That said, merging non-notable journals to the publisher of the journal (who is more likely going to be notable if they have many publications under their name) is a good solution. --MASEM (t) 17:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Journals lacking the most slender reed of notability should not be considered as having sufficient WP:WEIGHT to count as an RS NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:44, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Notability and reliability are two different things. Academic journals are rarely noted by mainstream press, and the journal systems lacks any significant amount of navel gazing to write about themselves. But being peer-reviewed journals with experts in their respective fields meet the basic fundamentals of WP:RS. --MASEM (t) 17:54, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
At WP:NJournals, some criteria have been developed that are less dependent on "navel gazing". I sympathize with Masem's point of view: if a journal does not even meet NJournals, I think it is quite likely not an RS either. --Randykitty (talk) 18:28, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
You may have misread my point. The notability and the reliability of an academic journal are two , unconnected factors. A reliable journal can be non-notable, as long as it meets the basics of what we need for an RS: editorial control, and a history of fact-checking (in most cases for journals, peer-reviewing). Notability might help to identify how well the source may meet these elements if they are not spelled out by the source, but any self-respecting journal is going to make clear of its publishing guidelines. We do not require the source work to have an article on WP. --MASEM (t) 18:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I am 100% fine with the existence of stub articles on academic or quasi-academic journals sourced to nothing more than themselves, per WP:IAR. You have the right to nominate, I have the right to defend. Carrite (talk) 18:02, 3 July 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 18:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm absolutely not proposing to restrict your right to an opinion. I just want to have some clarification on what policy to apply. I have been spending a lot of time recently on AFDs where I was faced with a lot of opposition (and, frankly, also some abuse, but that is not the point here and I'm certainly not implying the abuse came from you; see for example Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Democracy & Nature) based on what I regard as non-policy based arguments. I'm getting tired of that, so I'd like to have this settled at least for the coming year or so. --Randykitty (talk) 18:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Proposal: WP:NJournals is modified to require that otherwise non-notable journals be cited 3 times in Wikipedia to establish notability." If increasing bureaucracy would make things more clear, then if all other tools for determining notability fail, we could push people who wish for there to be journal articles to at least prove that the journal is publishing content of use to the Wikimedia community. If any otherwise non-notable journal cannot meet this very low bar, then it is unlikely to be of use to this community.
Would a proposal like this resolve the problematic cases? I am presuming that bad journals and disinterested promotional editors would have trouble inserting facts from three journal articles in three Wikipedia articles. Like others have said, if some publication is good enough to regularly cite on Wikipedia, then it is useful for Wikipedia readers to have some information on the source. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that changing NJournals matters in any official sense, in that it is only an essay. Likewise I don't see any need for VPP discussion on changing it. Playing along, however, it seems to be largely consistent with the practices of wp:WikiProject Academic Journals. I'd suggest that inability to find any bibliographic cataloguing data should be treated as a clear indication of both non-notability and non-reliability. We can't expect readers to find sources that we can't locate ourselves. A request on wp:RX that comes up dry after three months can be assumed to be unreasonably difficult for readers to find. LeadSongDog come howl! 20:34, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I have always been opposed to IAR and Carrite's exposition is a great example of why. There are plenty of independent "newspapers" and other periodicals looking to give their screed the veneer of respectability. Bluerasberry's proposal would incentivize bad actors to plunk "facts" into various entries with an eye towards the springboard to their own article. Since notability is not temporary, the proposal is dead on arrival. I agree with NJournals as it currently reads and voted to delete Journal of Bengali Studies for that reason. While I like using Wikipedia to evaluate various periodicals as reliable sources, a dearth of reliable sources about a periodical render any article about same pretty worthless. I wholeheartedly agree with Masem in that an academic journal may itself be considered a reliable source although not notable. I get RandyKitty's point that an un-notable journal might not be reliable, but I would counter that unless a consensus at RSN says a particular book or author isn't reliable, it is often considered reliable even if it clearly fails WP:NBOOK. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder why this discussion has been conflating the isue of a journal's reliability as a source with that of its notability as an article subject at all. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other; why would anybody think they do? The huge majority of perfectly fine academic quality publications are not notable in the sense of being potential article subjects (or else why stop at journals; is somebody planning to write an article on every scholarly monograph or Ph.D. dissertation that has been out in print with a decent publisher somewhere?). On the other hand, a journal might conceivably be highly "notable" (in Wikipedia terms) for being a notorious pseudo-scientific scam or something. Fut.Perf. 22:10, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I've participated in a number of academic journal discussions at AFD and agree that WP:GNG or WP:NJournals have been invaluable in helping to decide notability. In fact, I tend to ignore the rules and treat WP:NJournals as a sensible guideline rather than just a mere essay. I've never closed an AFD, but if I did, sensible arguments based on these would carry a lot of weight. But I also recognize there may be cases in which these may not apply and invoking IAR is warranted. For instance, major selective indices could have a systemic bias against non-English journals or those from the developing regions. Otherwise serious open access journals may be happy to be indexed in indices that some consider insufficiently selective. Sometimes dubious journals manage to get indexed in good indices for a time. In such cases, editors may invoke IAR and try to present an alternative argument for keep or delete, How well that flies depends on context and the strength of the argument. From what I have seen, IAR rarely works, but it can work and is a useful way to deal with exceptional cases. Unless AFD closers suddenly start consistently putting a lot more weight on IAR than WP:GNG or WP:NJournals based arguments, I cannot see how IAR is a threat to rational decision making about journals at AFD. --Mark viking (talk) 22:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Notability is a guideline not a hard policy and so there is plenty of wiggle-room to include topics such as journals. Readers may reasonably expect us to have an entry for any journal which is used as a source. If there isn't a lot to say about it that's fine. There is no requirement for our pages to be of any great length and so a perfunctory entry which provides the essential facts about such a journal is fine. Andrew (talk) 22:32, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Andrew Davidson:, this is exactly the kind of attitude that I am having problems with. The position seems reasonable, why not include every academic journal? In principle, I even agree with that. But in practice, I don't. Regrettably, there are journals that we really don't want to include, such as for example predatory journals. Unless these cause scandal that is covered in reliable sources, we would not be able to include a warning to readers that such a publication is a shady journal, because if there is no coverage, all that we can list in an article, as you say, are only the "essential facts" that the journal presents about itself on its own website. Unless you are proposing that WP editors start evaluating journals themselves to decide which new journals are predatory, and then delete articles on those journals based on their own opinion, I see no way around this problem but to have at least a minimum of requirements to establish notability of a journal. By necessity, we need third party sources for that, there is no escaping that fact. BTW, the problem is by no way limited to predatory journals. Each year dozens of journals get started online, now that it has become very easy for anybody to do so. Even when legitimate, many of those don't make it past a few issues, at most. Unless they are supported by a major publisher or academic institution, such journals often disappear without leaving a trace. If we would include articles on them the moment they produce an issue, we are later left with an article that cannot even be verified any more. How would you handle that? We simply must have objective criteria, independent of our own opinions. NJournals uses listing in selective databases for that. That does not, of course, constitute "in depth coverage" in the sense of GNG, but is a seal of approval from a professional organization/company. In practice, listing in just one selective database (not DOAJ or Google Scholar, for example) is taken as meeting NJournals. Everything that we subsequently write in the article, is based on information provided by the journal, which we trust because of that seal of approval by the database. So our current practice is already to have a low threshold for academic journals. I think it would be a very bad idea to completely do away with that threshold or replace it by our own, subjective, opinions. --Randykitty (talk) 10:29, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Let's talk a bit about those "essential facts". Most of those go into {{infobox journal}} parameters as simple factual data, about which even unscrupulous publishers have no reason to mislead readers. One fudgeworthy thing I see there is |impact=, and to mess with that is just foolish: it would be caught, and their advertisers would be pissed to find they'd been mislead. The other is |peer-reviewed=, which is usually omitted anyhow. It's the more elaborate text where primary content becomes a potential problem, particularly in describing scope or editorial policies. There are many reasons why users might come to an article about a journal, but I suggest that first and foremost among the reasons is that the user wants to locate a journal article they've seen cited (whether that be on or off-wiki). Although providing directory services is not strictly the purpose of wp, in the case of articles about journals doing so supports users in the verification of cited statements and in the long run supports the mission of the encyclopedia. For this reason we should prefer to have a minimalist data-only article over having no article at all. Note too that this is irrespective of the reliability of the journal. It is intrinsic to the way WP works that we enable readers to assess sources for themselves. Helping them find those sources is a key part of making WP useful, not to mention that it helps editors grow content and correct errors. LeadSongDog come howl! 15:14, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you guys seriously proposing carving out "academic journals" as a new topic fiefdom of alleged "inherent notability", i.e. blanket allowance of articles for any journal independent of outside coverage (like schools or villages)? I thought we've all had enough of those. And I don't buy the argument about it serving the information needs of our readers related to citations in other articles. Why stop at journals? Using the same argument, you could propose having an article about any book that has ever been cited anywhere on the wiki. Or about any individual academic who ever authored one. Or, why not any website that's ever been used as a source? Of course, such a proposal would run directly counter against the well-established consensus of WP:PROF, WP:NBOOK, and WP:NWEB. So what's different about journals? Fut.Perf. 15:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
(ec) A reasonable solution I would think would be to have the publisher of such journals have pages (the journal might not be notable, but the publisher should be, otherwise we are getting into SPS territory here), and redirects for those non-notable journals to the publisher and a list of journals there, with even a table to support the datum proposed above. If a non-notable journal has a non-notable publisher, that starts to beg the question of the reliability - not completely, but it does start to raise questions if we can't connect anyone involved with the work or publisher to a known entity that we can even validate with reputation. But I do want it clear that there are hundreds of non-notable journals published by notable publishers (my experience from the more fundamental science/engineering works) and these are certainly fine as reliable sources. Note that I agree with FP that we don't want to have inherit notability for journals, because that would be a slippery slope across the board for any site that publishes information. --MASEM (t) 15:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
If you go that route, the publisher articles will become dominated by a long string of thousands of journal infoboxes - something that nobody wants - leading to outright deletion of that data. Outside of WP editors, nobody cares the least bit about our policy on the WP:N of articles, but every critical reader cares or should care about the sources they can use to WP:V statements. How can I make this clear? We don't need these articles to have N subjects, what we need is a place to put the data about the cited sources. Since even after all this time WP can't seem to get it's act together on doing that simple thing well, (don't get me started on our cacophony of citation 'standards') instead we need to cobble together a workable endrun. I would certainly have preferred that this be done properly on wikidata or a dedicated citation space, but for now, wp articlespace is what we have. It sucks, but for now it is the least-worst answer that serves the purpose. Show me a better alternative, and I'll happily say "move that crap outta here", but please don't try to tell me that N trumps V, 'cause that just doesn't cut it. These stub articles may not be pretty, but they serve a useful purpose.
As an aside, consider too that we have many articles citing sources with variant journal titles such as PNAS, Proc Natl Acad Sci, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. We even have a rule saying we have to support the use of all the variant forms, depending on which was used first in an article. Without a target, the redirects are orphaned and deleted. Not that PNAS will suffer that fate, but that the stubby articles we're discussing will. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:50, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be a string of infoboxes, it can be a single table, duplicating the primary fields of the infobox (of course, not publisher, you're on the article about them). And realistically, a person who is reading an article that is primarily sourced to journal articles (as those of our technical nature will be), they are going to know how to figure out the reputation of a journal if they need to know that information for their research. And these publisher articles can also serve to be targets for the redirects that you talk about, even using anchors to have the readers land on the right line. So these concerns are simply not there or are addressable as to make the "need" to have journals be inheriently notable unnecessary. --MASEM (t) 06:08, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Just a note... in the case of the article on Journal of Bengali Studies, there is a serious case of COI that needs to be taken into account... the article was created (User:Tamalmou. It turns out that he is the founder of the Journal. Thus, there is an element of self-promotion behind the journal article. I will also draw your attention to the fact that the only other article to link to Journal of Bengali Studies article is the article on Bengali Studies (which was also created by User:Tamalmou)... where it is mentioned in order to support a claim, that Bengali Studies is itself a notable academic discipline (to quote from that article: "This field is considered to have been formally recognised within academia in recent times with the launch of the Journal of Bengali Studies in the year 2012 by Tamal Dasgupta who teaches at University of Delhi"). I will mention all of this at the AfD... it may make a difference. Blueboar (talk) 12:43, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Coi and a possible intention to influence Wikipeda in a pov fashion. Hopefully I'm wrong, but as they say they intend to settle one very controversial issue involving the birthplace of someon (Odisha vs Bengal) I'm concerned. Dougweller (talk) 15:35, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

This is why we have List of... articles. Journals not notable enough for their own articles, but with some credibility (i.e. not vanity publications), can be included in a "List of academic journals about foo". Consider also, creating entries for them in Wikidata. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Exactly. This is a very workable solution. And redirects can be made since they are also cheap. --MASEM (t) 16:54, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree only partially. Yes, in theory this is fine. In practice, such lists tend to become huge spam magnets. Every new journal created somewhere on the web tries to get into these lists. The problem remains the same as with creating articles: which ones do we allow in a list and which ones not? At least with articles we have some info in the text to judge a journal's notability. In a list, we don't even have that. --Randykitty (talk) 22:59, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Notability only restricts article creation but does not limit article content, so yes, every single journal that is created could be on these lists without a problem. I would think we do need some other criteria in that these journals need to be better than a WP:SPS to be included, and I'm sure there's a few others but the lists are fine. --MASEM (t) 23:09, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
"yes, every single journal that is created could be on these lists without a problem". Including any predatory journals? Also journals that disappear again without leaving a trace (they may be verifiable for a while, as long as their websites are active)? If no, who decides what is a predatory journal? Inclusion is fine in theory, but please also give a thought to how this would work out in practice. --Randykitty (talk) 18:24, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • the existing special notability consensus works fine for science and the "hard" social sciences, where there are good standards based on the existence of reliably selective indexes. Within this scope Randykitty and I have almost never disagreed, and the consensus has almost always supported our positions. It's in the humanities where there's a problem, because citation figures and indexing are much more diffuse and variable, and I have often taken a considerably more inclusive policy than my friend RK. I would in these areas extend the inclusion criterion to include without question any established journal published by a major academic publisher or university press, or the principal journal of any scientific society, or included in the principal index of the subject area, but not to exclude others if significance in the field can be determined. (this still leaves us the problem of non-academic journals--I have no such simple solution for them) I think this is wider than RK wants, and its lower than what I would ideally want, but I think its a viable compromise that would resolve most of the problems. I think this better decided on such a pragmatic basic than trying to find general principles--anyone experienced at WP could find general principles here to support almost anything. DGG ( talk ) 22:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
DGG is absolutely right that we almost always agree (in fact, I cannot immediately remember an instance where we didn't agree) on the sciences and the "hard" social sciences. The reason that I disagree with including any journal from a good publisher (whether commercial or academic) is that even these publishers start the occasional dud (I have listed a few on my user page), that fails after a short time. udually, this means that such journals did garnered no or almost no interest and I don't think that an artuicle on them is justified. When a journal just started, we cannot possible know whether it will survive or be one of these duds. So at the least I would amend his above rule with some time limit ("...and has existed for at least xx years"). My general problem is of course not with DGG, who knows what he is talking about. My problem is with journals that I don't think are notable, but where there is a bunch of "supporters" who vehemently argue that it is, on grounds that are not policy based at all, but get their way because they shout loud enough. (See this discussion, where I seem to have struck an ideological nerve). For this reason, I'd like to have criteria that are as clear as possible, because that will reduce valuable editor time wasted on unproductive discussions. --Randykitty (talk) 13:07, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "without exception": no. However I dont see any benefit in trying to define a policy or guideline for the borderline cases; that is what AFD is for: to discuss the specifics. And some AFD decisions may not always seem to be aligned with the guidelines or our expectations. That is normal, and corrects itself over time. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:58, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of medical journals do not meet WP:GNG. Category:General medical journals is filled with non-notable journals. WP:NJournals is an essay. I dispute criterion 2: "The journal is frequently cited by other reliable sources." How to determine "frequently cited"? By impact factor?
The essay subsequently indicates that any journal with an impact factor assigned by Journal Citation Reports "always qualifies under Criterion 1." The Journal Citation Reports website is not particularly user-friendly, but I found this page, which states that 10,800 journals are listed with impact factors. I would question whether journals such as "Victorian Poetry", "World Mycotoxin Journal" and "Cartography and Geographic Information Science" are genuinely notable enough to justify Wikipedia articles.
According to the website, Journal Citation Reports has a selection process, which aims to provide "comprehensive" but not all-inclusive coverage. However presence on a comprehensive listing does not necessarily make each individual journal notable enough for its own article in a general encyclopedia. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
(ec)Why? "Victorian Poetry", in a field I know something about (and perhaps you don't), certainly meets criterion 1. The other two I know nothing about, but that is nothing against them, as I have no interest in their subject areas. Johnbod (talk) 12:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Victorian Poetry is one of several journals published by West Virginia University. However I could not find any third party statements that give it more than a passing mention. Which reliable sources consider it to be influential?
Regarding your claim that it "certainly meets criterion 1", what exactly is its subject area anyway? Is its subject area actually Victorian poetry? With "World Mycotoxin Journal", is its subject area mycotoxins? (Actually, with appropriate clarification of "subject area", I think that criterion 1 is in line with WP:GNG.)
Johnbod, you know more about the subject of Victorian poetry than I do. I am not disputing the quality or reliability of the journal's content. I am disputing your claim that the journal is sufficiently notable to be worthy of its own article in Wikipedia. Axl ¤ [Talk] 15:26, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I repeat, it clearly meets criterion 1. Yes it is about Victorian poetry, and things a little around that, and I would say is the leading journal with that specialism, which is a decent-sized chunk of a major academic subject. As already pointed out, there is a catch 22 here as academic jornals don't spend much time praising their competitors, and nobody else cares much. That's why we have a special guideline. Johnbod (talk) 22:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
If you have a look at the website of Scopus, you'll see here that they include over 20,000 journals, so JCR is pretty selective. And Scopus, although more inclusionist than JCR, is selective, too: there are thousands (probably tens of thousands) more journals that are in neither database. --Randykitty (talk) 12:12, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Johnbod & Randykitty: to clarify your position, are you saying that the 10,800 journals listed at Journal Citation Reports each deserve their own Wikipedia article? Axl ¤ [Talk] 15:29, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's not going to fly. We have to make sure it is 100% clear that the verifyability and RS-ness of a source has zero to do with notability and having a stand-alone article. --MASEM (t) 15:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think that all journals included in the JCR are notable: they have been selected by a group of specialists (in part based on objective quantitative data: citation analysis) as the most influential journals in their area. In practice, both DGG and I have even accepted inclusion in Scopus as satisfying NJournals, although we both are starting to have some qualms about it becoming more and more inclusive. In any case, I don't know the latest estimates about how many academic journals are currently in existence (JournalSeek has currently >70,000 entries, but even that is probably a lower limit), but 10,000 (or even Scopus' 20,000) really is only the top of an iceberg (i.e., notable...) --Randykitty (talk) 16:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I've no idea - what puzzles me is where your decisive views on "Victorian Poetry", "World Mycotoxin Journal" and "Cartography and Geographic Information Science" come from! 10,800 seems rather high, I'll admit. "Victorian Poetry" would I think be in the top 20-60 Eng Lit journals, though I'm not the list-making type (and see the library figures below). Johnbod (talk) 22:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
For an encyclopedic article, we need to make sure that, in time, we can actually write a good article that meets V, NOR, NPOV. Just being listed in the JCR has no assurances that more sourcing about the journal will come about. Ergo, this logic does not work. --MASEM (t) 16:20, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
(1) Victorian Poetry was an interesting example:, because WorldCat shows it is in 1328 libraries, and it's included in Project Muse, on of the key services we and all academic libraries depend on for academic content of current journals. I would say it is unquestionably notable.
(2)I join Randykitty and Johnbod in asserting that yes, every journal included in Journal Citation Reports is notable beyond question, and the need for discussion is only for the ones that are not. (The real difficulty is with journals of national interest, that are not effectively part of the general international scientific information system. In principle we should cover them, but it is very difficult to get reliable information on their individual importance) Why should it surprise anyone that there are 10,000 notable journals? To take an example from another field, in the single 2012 Olympics, there were 10,568 participants--every one of them is considered unquestionably notable. Thee were another 4302 in that single Paralymic's, and we consider each of them notable also.
(3) We can always write an NPOV article on a journal, because the objective facts are easily verifiable. They're all in WorldCat, and other catalogs, and they serves as a third party source to confirm the information on the publication. DGG ( talk ) 17:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
But as an encyclopedia we want more than mere existence, we want to established "why" we've opted to document something and show its relevance to the world at large, with that reasoning backed by sources. Otherwise, there's billions of topics (starting with every living person in the more populated countries) we can verify existence but not relevance. For most academic journals, there's very little documented relevance to the real world that we can cite; I know personally in my own field that there's some journals that are more important than others but nearly all of them fail to have any real world importance that we can document. --MASEM (t) 17:26, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, the "why" is that a journal included in JCR is a leading journal in its field. We can provide an independent reference to that from JCR. And besides the IF, we can give all kinds of other interesting factoids: when it was established, publication frequency, which databases include it, language used, who the editor-in-chief is and who was EIC in the past, etc. All this is neutral info that we can get from the journal's own website. If you have a look at the journal article writing guide, you'll see that we can make an article that is sourced and informative, albeit probably brief. I disagree that these journals have little relevance for the world at large, after all, it's where new knowledge usually is published first. Yes, the subject matter is sometimes arcane, but that's not a reason not to have articles on them. --Randykitty (talk) 19:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
From an encyclopedia POV, those other factoids don't help. They're great for WikiData (see below) but just putting out primary information doesn't help. --MASEM (t) 19:41, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
DGG, the journal's presence in 1,300 libraries is circumstantial evidence. This does not directly satisfy criterion 1 of WP:NJournal. It certainly does not satisfy WP:GNG.
Your analogy to Olympic athletes is a poor one. WP:ATHLETE states "If the article does meet the criteria set forth below, then it is likely that sufficient sources exist to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article." The guideline indicates that Olympic athletes will (almost) always have suitable sources somewhere—which is what the GNG requires. (Incidentally, not all Paralympians are implicitly notable—only those who have won a medal, per WP:NOLYMPICS.) Tangentially related, there aren't 7 billion journals in the "population" of journals. Axl ¤ [Talk] 19:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If one has a look at the talk page archives of WP:NJournals, the above discussion strongly resembles what happened when it was attempted to have NJournals accepted as a guideline instead of just an essay: some people argue that each and every academic journal should be included, others argue that they can only be included if they meet GNG. I think that the idea to get rid of all journal articles is just as bad as having them all. It would appear to me that NJournals is quite a good compromise between these two extreme positions, neither of which, IMHO, is likely to ever become the consensus position. --Randykitty (talk) 15:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Johnbod, since you ask, I looked at the Master Journal List. They divide the whole list into three categories: Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science. I looked through the lists and chose one obscurely named title from each category. Then I searched for evidence of notability for each journal.
You keep insisting that "Victorian Poetry" meets criterion 1, yet you have still not provided any evidence. Which reliable sources declare that it is influential in its subject area?
For what it's worth, I think that the three categories used by Journal Citation Reports are suitable for defining the "subject area" referred to in criterion 1. Axl ¤ [Talk] 08:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
What seems to an outsider an "obscurely named title" isn't likely to produce very good results, is it? The The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet both sound pretty obscure. The former's article has to go back to 1977 for some independent praise singing, and as explained above, looking for "independent" sources saying nice things has all sorts of problems. For our purposes looking at library take up, citation indices, and similar quantative measures is more useful. Are you saying you think WP:NJournals means that a journal has to show it is "considered by reliable sources to be influential in" one of "Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science" as a whole ("its subject area")? I think that would be an unusual interpretation, which only a handful of journals would meet. Johnbod (talk) 12:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
"What seems to an outsider an "obscurely named title" isn't likely to produce very good results, is it?" That's why I also searched for reliable sources that describe the journals—which is the GNG recommendation.
"Are you saying you think WP:NJournals means that a journal has to show it is "considered by reliable sources to be influential in" one of "Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science" as a whole ("its subject area")?" In the absence of a clear definition of "subject area", I think that is a reasonable interpretation of "subject area".
"I think that would be an unusual interpretation." Possibly. We would need some sort of survey to demonstrate that. It may be better if the author(s) of the essay clarified the intended meaning.
"...which only a handful of journals would meet." Indeed! Axl ¤ [Talk] 22:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Victorian Poetry meets NJournals because a committee of experts has judged it among the most influential journals in its field. This is sourced by its inclusion in the Thomson Reuters databases. --Randykitty (talk) 12:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikidata alternative

John Vandenberg was talking about this at WikiProject Medicine and mentioned d:Wikidata:Periodicals task force. I see two concerns here:

  1. Academic journals rarely meet any Wikipedia inclusion criteria, and therefore by standard rules ought not have Wikipedia articles
  2. Other Wikipedia articles cite academic journals which are reliable sources but not notable for inclusion into Wikipedia. This means that if anyone wants more information about the reliable sources we use, they cannot find that information on Wikipedia.

I feel that Wikipedia would be best if somehow we were able to give people whatever information is available about the sources being cited in Wikimedia projects. LeadSongDog said "I would certainly have preferred that this be done properly on wikidata or a dedicated citation space, but for now, wp articlespace is what we have. It sucks, but for now it is the least-worst answer that serves the purpose. Show me a better alternative, and I'll happily say "move that crap outta here", but please don't try to tell me that N trumps V, 'cause that just doesn't cut it. These stub articles may not be pretty, but they serve a useful purpose." Pigsonthewing also said "Consider also, creating entries for them in Wikidata." Future Perfect at Sunrise, as you say, notability and inclusion are supposed to be related and you asked why people were arguing that non-notable articles were proposed for inclusion into Wikipedia. It is only because of giving people access to information about sources. I do not want that access lessened, but d:Wikidata:Periodicals task force may lead to a solution compliant with Wikipedia and meeting everyone's needs. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I've dumped my thoughts on how citations should work, in future, here: User:Pigsonthewing/Citations - the future. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This might ring with your idea but a possible idea, like with WikiBooks when you link through an ISBN and get to a selection of links to review, that for journals, newspapers, websites, etc. we possibly have a database that include, at minimum, links direct to the source, Wikipedia articles about the source (if they exist), and other possible details. So that in references these can always be linked to something without necessarily having an en.wiki article about it. --MASEM (t) 15:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
If it's decided that journals that won't pass WP:GNG but are whose reliability as sources can be verified are to be put in list articles, the lists don't necessarily have to be organized by topic. This would just start many new arguments about which journal should be on which list. It would make more sense for the list to be by publisher. For a few entries only, the list could be a table in the publisher's article, and for a large number of items a separate list could be made. If the section heading or list article title was something like "List of peer-reviewed academic journals published by X&Y Co.", that should exclude any publications by the same publisher that were unsuitable as sources. If each item on the list had to have either a Wikipedia article wikilink or one reference verifying that the journal was peer reviewed, that should eliminate unreliable publications. The fact that a journal may have published only a few issues and then was no longer published, and isn't very notable, should be immaterial to being on such a list. Comparing this to articles about musicians: There are many musicians who are not notable enough for their own articles, but are listed in the article about bands or orchestras in which they participate. Similarly, there are many musical compositions which are not notable enough for an article, but are listed in the article about the album in which they are included. Surely, if a not-yet-famous rap song or drummer can have a line in a Wikipedia article, a peer reviewed journal warrants a mention somewhere. —Anne Delong (talk) 16:18, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This seems like a good idea, even alongside the other solutions proposed. It's also something that can be done immediately. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:47, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
not just a peer reviewed journal, but any published journal could justify a Wikidata entry. Similarly for every published book, and author. But I do not think we should be in any hurry to actually do it ourselves, as there are already excellent databases of such things., such as WorldCat, which can be used to populate the entries. Actually, I don;t even think there's a need for this, because the information is available in these and similar databases, and what we really need to develop is linking. If we redo the work ourselves, I think there is a real danger of ending up like OpenLibrary, with bibliographic information that librarians generally consider thoroughly unreliable. (it's a very good text repository, but not a good source of data.) We could probably even justify a listing for every scientific article, but the doi system already handles that., at least in principle, and is designed to permit indefinite expansion. DGG ( talk ) 17:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This looks like a promising direction. Would it be better to convert the permastubs about journals into soft (or hard) redirects to the wikidata entries when the stubs are otherwise null? LeadSongDog come howl! 04:51, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
If this was implemented, I would grandfather existing stubs - let them be but if someone nominates them for deletion, we can then replace them. But new stubs after this has been put in place, those we'd speedy (following something like CSD#7, with no clear evidence of importance or notability) as to replace with this WikiData link. --MASEM (t) 05:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Much of this discussion seems to be predicated on the assumption that there is something wrong with having too many articles, or having stub articles. WP is not a paper encyclopedia. "There is no practical limit to the number of topics Wikipedia can cover or the total amount of content." What harm is caused to WP by having an article about every reputable academic journal? I understand the need to keep the predatory journals out, but why the need to limit article space on the rest? Stub tags are already meant to warn readers that the subject might not be all it appears to be. Why should we have stubs if all they serve is to keep articles around that so many people think should be deleted, or even speedy deleted, even shortly after they are created? If there is no clear harm to WP, and policies are not flagrantly violated, my bias is to keep articles. WP has the potential to become Carl Sagan's Encyclopaedia Galactica - a truly universal knowledge base. Why seek to limit that potential? Not an indiscriminate collection of anything, not a collection of external links - none of that stuff. Just information about the things readers might be curious about (like a new journal), and an easy way to find that information. The big question should always be whether a deletion or merge improves someone else's experience using WP. I think all discussions involving deletion or deletion policy or guidance should be predicated on the need to provide a positive experience to the curious kid who wants to learn something new or obscure, not on a perceived need to restrict article space. Dcs002 (talk) 10:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

links to TimaticWeb

We seem to have a lot of visa information articles and most of them have references to Timatic. These references are often unformatted, inline external links to long URLs on timaticweb.com that can essentially be replaced with the {{Timatic}} template. I first thought of this as purely a technical issue - it's better to format these references, and to reduce a crapload of copy&paste across the encyclopedia. However, after seeing various combinations of the links, and visiting the general website, it seems like we might be using a trivial technical backdoor to access a database that is supposed to be off limits to arbitrary lookups, and is instead meant for use by airline websites - they have an elaborate charging model where each transaction through this backdoor actually has a monetary value assigned to it (!). Nevertheless, this issue has existed for at least 4 years or so. The link that we send people to doesn't have an explicit terms of use statement saying "you should not be here", but it can be inferred from the context (see Template talk:Timatic). I wonder if this is the time to start removing these links just in case, in order to make sure we prevent any possible liability for us or for our readers who click on the links. Thoughts anyone? --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I haven't read the whole terms of service but whatever they wrote inside cannot prevent us from using it as a reference. Asides from this probably being raw data that by definition is not eligible for copyright protection we are also not copy/pasting any content anyway so I don't see the problem. We only use it as a reference and I've never heard that anyone can forbid you to do that. The fact that it's a commercial service doesn't mean it can't be a valid reference, published books are also commercial and are sold for real money and you can't read them unless you pay for them (maybe a better example would be a newspaper) yet that doesn't mean we can't use books as a reference or that writing inside a book "This book cannot be used as a reference" would be of any significance. That still of course does not mean you can copy/paste from it. As for clicks causing an airline to pay for that, I am pretty sure anything that gets them billed is password protected. Just think about it, a hacker could write a script that would send several million such requests to Timatic on behalf of an airline, and what, an airline would suddenly be left with a multi-million dollar bill? I doubt it. I think there is a difference between raw data here available to everyone and the expanded Timatic client that airlines use on their counters and which can't be accessed by us, hence the missing "you should not be here" statement on pages we are using as a reference. Also common sense tells me something about the fact that these links have been used for years on Wikipedia if you check through article histories.--Twofortnights (talk) 11:45, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't make one thing clear - I'd never suggest that we remove all references to Timatic. But I have to find it odd that the "Delta business to customer" (right?) account stopped working after a while. Maybe they noticed that we're racking up the bill, and changed it. Obviously it would be silly and pointless for an airline to go out and sue Wikipedia and/or all the people who click on those links. But it could still provide for a less than amusing interaction with an airline's legal team. We just don't need the liability. If we can go by with just using the meta data, we should probably do that. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 12:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes but we need more than a presumption that this was the case. I think we should contact Delta and see if their Timatic service was really terminated because of Wikipedia because to me it sounds far fetched and so far based only on your understanding of things which could be wrong. I personally think that if this was the case Delta would have changed access information or would have at least sent us a message, it really doesn't sound like a company of that size would entirely drop the Timatic service for such trivial reasons - [10]. I would say reasons are probably simpler, if I had to bet I would say they thought that the US Department of State website provides more user-friendly explanations that can't confuse readers like the technical Timatic response that's not so easy to read for a first time visitor and also the "Visa required. Except for" can probably confuse many readers. For anyone else they can use the SkyTeam Timatic.--Twofortnights (talk) 12:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I actually also don't think they ever dropped it - but they could have easily had it changed to another "user" and "subuser" parameters, and trivially hide the new ones from end-users. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 19:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
No the web based client was available on their website, now that page links readers to see what the State Department has to say - [11]. IATA provides paper based Timatic, maybe Delta is using that now. It's all guessing though, one would have to contact them and see what happened exactly.--Twofortnights (talk) 21:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Btw someone not involved in these articles might ask a perfectly natural question "why not use a different source". And here is the answer. A huge problem is that many countries don't publish their visa policies anywhere else at all so the only place where you can find it is Timatic as they still do notify IATA of changes (though even then many are slow to send them a notification). Sure, western countries mostly update their web pages and notify IATA immediately however so many don't. I have analyzed it and here is what I came up with specifically. Egypt, Bangladesh, Gambia have seriously conflicting information between various official webpages. Some countries have dubious information on specific issues such as the length of stay, for an example South Korea. Malaysian immigration website page on visa policy, the only relevant page there is, mentions countries that no longer exist, some of which ceased to exist even before the internet came to be. Some countries simply put up false information like Iran. For many countries it is unclear what the visa policy is all about as in original language it might mention that some countries have a simplified visa procedure while in English it might talk about visa on arrival, like Nicaragua or Kyrgyzstan. Some countries like China have very complicated visa policy that is not found in one place anywhere else. Conditions for visa on arrival by some countries is not explained, like Guyana, Nauru, Senegal. Some countries are trying to be creative with online visa systems but are apparently not capable of doing that properly - Rwanda, Myanmar and Nigeria come to mind. Some countries make grand announcements about adopting complete change of their visa policies only not to explain those changes properly anywhere like Congo or Syria have done. Of course not even Timatic is always up to date, island nations like Marshall Islands or Barbados are very slow even to notify IATA.--Twofortnights (talk) 16:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

AFDs and TFDs and CFDs

Subject was There should be a policy saying that AFDS and TFDS and CFDS shall be closed after 7 days open

I will not say anything more about this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 31.200.165.19 (talkcontribs) 16:38, 22 July 2014‎

And I doubt anyone else will either, since you have given no explanation for your proposal. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, they are closed as soon as enough people have given enough input to judge consensus. They generally remain open at least seven days to allow for enough people to contribute an opinion. But there is (nor should there be) any rule which requires them to be closed after seven days, sometimes they just need more input, and Wikipedia does not have a deadline. --Jayron32 16:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The policy is clear that discussion shall last at least 7 days. Sometimes there's extensive discussion, so it's permitted to continue. Sometimes there's not enough discussion, so it's extended. There's no way in hell that anyone will lock a discussion in to "7 days, no matter what", and it's a poor way to treat the community if we did the panda ɛˢˡ” 17:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Hooray! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

FYI, IP 31.200.165.19 seems to be upset about Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 June 22#Template:Infobox Simpsons episode. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I figured that, based on their contributions. I cannot fathom why they're in a hurry to have it closed, however. the panda ɛˢˡ” 18:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It is overdue for a mouth now.92.251.167.129 (talk) 18:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC) I am the same man as 31.200.165.19 by the way.92.251.167.129 (talk) 18:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Add time and edits to autoconfirmed user criteria?

I think 4 days and 10 edits isn't enough. I don't have an idea yet, but I could get one with your help. I think there should be more time because,

  • Some people may not have enough experience
  • Some may just be trying to mess it up
  • Some may not understand the policies yet

There are a lot of reasons. EMachine03 (talk) 18:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

A long time ago, I thought it would be a good idea to add a pop quiz with 4-5 questions super basic questions, about things like the 5 pillars, TPG, AGF, Consensus, DR or whatever. Something more than nothing, to show a user is not only intersted in editing but also interested in learning. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:15, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
An underlying principle of Wikipedia is that it be easy to get started. That is why the bar for autoconfirmation is deliberately set pretty low. Most vandals don't have the patience to wait 4 days and make 10 good faith to vandalize their preferred target. Newbies should not be expected to be perfect in order to edit semi-protected articles, semi protection is used only to keep bad-faith edits away. I once proposed that page creation be restricted to autoconfirmed users, and I still think that is a good idea. That might be a better pace to start raising the bar a little. Anyone who takes 10 seconds to set up an account can immediately create an attack page with massive BLP violations, but they can't edit many existing pages. That has never made sense to me. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:48, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that is a bit concerning and seems to be an ongoing problem. I agree with Beeblebrox that it might be better to start from there.--Mark Miller (talk) 18:51, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought the WMF rejected that? With the ongoing "death spiral" they won't accept it this time either, in a desperate attempt to fix editor retention.
Turning to the main issue, I remember when I joined Wikipedia. I easily made those ten edits in the first day, and then had to wait for the time to pass, so I think time accounts for keenness, and edits for competence (since bad edits can be picked up in the 4 day period) – so at any rate the edit count should be increased. However, I don't see that there are sufficient problems being caused by the low bar to warrant an increase. As Beeblebrox said, autoconfirmation/semiprotection is a test of faith, not competence, and I would be extremely uncomfortable having some sort of exam – that would genuinely repel contributors. BethNaught (talk) 19:12, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you guys for all of your input. I believe that it should stay where it is. EMachine03 (talk) 22:12, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Video/computer games - playing style

One of the most important things to game players is how the game is played, whether it's "table top," "third person" or "first person", etc. Yet whether or not this is mentioned on a wiki page is arbitrary, some put it in the intro, others in the game play section or in the right hand panel and more than often, it isn't mentioned at all.

I would like to suggest that all right hand panels mention the playing style.--Bwilderbeast (talk) 17:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

(I hope this is the right place to bring this up, I searched around and couldn't find anywhere better, if I'm wrong, point me in the right direction.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bwilderbeast (talkcontribs) 17:25, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Actually, no one is stopping you from adding the information to the article yourself. You're quite allowed to make Wikipedia better. --Jayron32 18:58, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Just be prepared to have it changed on you. There's a lot of disagreements out there as to what type they fall into, genre issues aside (see Roguelike and Diablo 3), there's the problem of multiple camera options (Elder Scrolls has 1st or 3rd person, as do many racing games, etc), issues like isometric vs top down, third person fixed vs interactive vs tracking vs cinematic vs mixed, etc. I don't want to scare you off from adding the info, just want to make sure you know what you're getting into. JMJimmy (talk) 19:19, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
As a member of the VG project, we actually do encourage explaining the basic genre style of a game, that's part of our guidelines. The genre should be in the lead, and in the gameplay section, elements like if its a first-person perspective or third-person one, or top down/side view, etc. should be explained. It's probably inconsistent with newer editors. Though keep in mind we try to avoid making gameplay sections read like strategy guides - enough to give the idea of what's going on but not too much detail that will bore someone that doesn't play video games. --MASEM (t) 19:23, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies and advice. I'll make an edit when appropriate but systematically going through them, especially as I've only played a tiny fraction and new ones are released everyday is a labour for Sisyphus. Also, if it's already in the guidelines, there isn't much more that can be done on a system level. --Bwilderbeast (talk) 20:56, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Clarification Primary Sources

This is not in regards to any dispute, just wanting to clarify the concept of WP:Primary for myself. In recent instances I've cited, or wanted to cite, primary sources because of two reasons:

  • There was little to no English language documentation available and what there was either conflicting or was imprecise to the point of ambiguity
  • There was a significant number of secondary sources, however, there was significant conflict between them that did not reflect the facts of the primary source

My question is, strictly in the scope of laws and case law, is it reasonable/common sense to use a primary source if it uses plain language and/or it is obvious that OR/Syth is not occurring? Examples:

  • Secondary sources that are creating synth by stating something like "It is clear by the ruling that the scheme was illegal" when the primary source states a far less hyperbolic position which does not support the statement. (fictional case) Is it proper to cite secondary hyperbole or a primary source in such a case? If the former, how does one avoid OR/Synth without echoing hyperbole one knows to be false?
  • If no English documents are available for a subject, or are not entirely reliable due to interpretation of translations that do not match primary sources, is it better to go to a primary source or risk citing a secondary foreign language source which may dilute/change the meaning when translated?
Primary Source Text Google Translate Primary Source Google Translate Secondary Source

Artículo 646.- La mayor edad comienza a los dieciocho años cumplidos.

Article 646 -. Begins Older age at eighteen years old.

Article 646. Senior age begins at eighteen years old.

The above case, while the words were identical, it ends up that lower case and upper case are interpreted differently when translated (at least by Google). "La mayor edad" and "LA MAYOR EDAD" translated as "the older", however, "La mayor edad comienza" and "LA MAYOR EDAD COMIENZA" translated differently as "The older begins" vs "Senior age begins". Senior obviously has a very different interpretation in English. Obviously this highlights the pitfalls of citing foreign language sources and I don't want to get side tracked by that - they are well known and English is always preferred. It does highlight the problem of sourcing information for which no English source can be found, or established to have reliability, especially as it relates to subtleties and secondary source perspective. Is it more appropriate in this type of scenario to go straight to the primary source or should one use a secondary secondary source with a potentially bad translation (and not knowing if it's an Onion or a seniors home)?

(feel free to skip the rest it's just background info) The reason for this example is that, in this particular situation, WP:OR was occurring citing a document which listed "Visa for Mexican minors (under the age of 15): $14", which of course is not saying all minors are 15 and under, just that those 15 and under pay $14 for a visa. The previous state was uncited, so it isn't really appropriate for me to correct something without knowledge & proper citation. Not finding any, I went to the primary source and comparing two versions the surrounding text made the meaning obvious in both (section is called "Tenth Of Emancipation and Major Age", chapter heading immediately before the article was "CHAPTER II Major Age - Article 646..."). It happened again shortly after with Colombia - again no English sources and conflicting secondary sources.

The Spanish wiki uses the term "Mayoría de edad", however, looking into it I found that can mean many similar things which have different implications. I'd come across secondary sources that appeared to be appropriate, it says Colombia in the top right and states the info without confusion, though it is actually about Argentina. I only knew this because the primary source was 1977 not 2009. I was able to find an index of formal terms in other languages indicating "age of majority" as translating to "mayoría de edad civil", this ended up being accurate. I still ran into the same issues found in English where the term is not used ubiquitously between regions. Also as found frequently in English secondary sources, they often confused terms or used informal terms so that "mayoría de edad" referred to ages of criminal/marriage/consent (among other things). — Preceding unsigned comment added by JMJimmy (talkcontribs) 05:55, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Here's a source for "mayor edad" meaning age of majority: http://books.google.com/books?id=-Pp-xSsBuIQC&pg=PA324 (since it's talking about Spain, it says it's 21). --NE2 19:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
"Mayor edad" can also mean "senior", "older", "full age", "legal age", "majority", "oldest", "old age" etc depending on the dialect/region, sex, modifiers, or if used as a noun or an adverb JMJimmy (talk) 19:36, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
You should't use sources you don't understand. If you have to use a computer translation to try to make any sense out of it, you don't understand it. An editor who cites a source written in a language other than English should be fluent in the language the source is written in. Jc3s5h (talk) 19:43, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Untrue. While human translations are preferred, Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English_sources states "When using a machine translation of source material, editors should be reasonably certain that the translation is accurate and the source is appropriate.". With my experience sorting out the English definitions I was exceedingly careful not to use a source I couldn't verify. That diligence led to this question, the desire is to avoid citations I can't verify. My research for this article is going to require dozens of languages at minimum. 20:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by JMJimmy (talkcontribs)
The editor need not be fluent; however, for most European languages, it's easy to find someone who is. You can always ask for help if you don't understand a source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:48, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Definitely. I was eying some of the less common languages with active users on the translators list as a good place to start. JMJimmy (talk) 03:00, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Muhamad Peace be upon him

Hi, I see quite frequently that random people, mostly IP add peace be upon him to every article that contains name Muhamad. Is that supposed to be reverted? And if so, with which reason? Thanks Petrb (talk) 10:24, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's supposed to be removed per WP:PBUH. Johnuniq (talk) 10:39, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Just remove it. Perhaps 'Wikipedia is not a prayer book' should be added to WP:NOT but I think this is adequately covered under WP:NOTPROMOTION. Dmcq (talk) 10:50, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Language and cross-cultural sensitivity

And RFC/!Poll is underway on questions of potentially offensive language, standard written English, etc. Input and any new ideas requested. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:26, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

RFC , take 2

So I closed my prior RFC as it was suggested that it was malformed I've re-opened it here . Your input would be appreciated. Kosh Vorlon    10:30, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Bitcoin

As a longtime contributor of contents to Wikipedia, I was quite displeased reading today that the Foundation has chosen to accept donations "in bitcoins".
I understand that the Foundation is actually accepting dollars from Coinbase, that come from the sale of bitcoins that people send them. Still, this highly visible decision helps lend an undeserved credibility to bitcoin, that may induce unwary people to put their money into an investment of extremely high risk (to put it very mildly), in a market that is infested with scammers and incompentent entrepreneurs. Just at MtGOX, over than half a billion dollars were stolen from people who had trusted bitcoin, sometimes with all their life savings; and that was only one of hundreds of thefts and scams that have been reported.
Bitcoin was ostensibly desigedn to provide a method for e-payment that would be cheap, safe, convenient etc. It has yet to prove that it can do that, and the more it is examined and used, the more elusive that goal seems to be. But many of the most ardent "believers" liked it because they thought that it would allow them to evade bank and government controls, and thus be a safe way to pay for drugs and other illegal services, evade taxes, launder criminal money, and so on. Having realized that bitcoin is not at all "safe" in that sense, that segment of the community is quietly abandoning bitcoin and betting on other (hopefully) "truly anonymous" crypto-coins.
Another unstated but widely assumed promise of bitcoin was that, as a currency with no central managing authority, it would free the world from the oppressive oligopoly of big international banks and government monetary agencies. But the "mining" of bitcoin, which is the ostensibly volunteer and uncoordinated activity that keeps the system running, is already dominated by two or three large enterprises; so that the eventual success of bitcoin would merely exchange a few dozen poorly regulated international banks for a much smaller clique of totally unregulated "mining" corporations, whose owners are largely unknown.
Another class of early adopters hoped to pull the "private fiat money" scam: namely, create a currency that is not backed by any asset, convince some people to use it for trade, and, when it has become sufficiently well-accepted, take out of their closets a large stock of that currency that they saved for themselves, and use it to buy a fortune worth of other property. About 90% of all existing bitcoins are currently hoarded, perhaps more than half of them acquired by their current owners for pennies. For those early investors, the scam could pay off handsomely today, whether they sell their bitcoins or use them to buy goods through Coinbase and other processors. Their profit will come from the pockets of those who buy those coins, from them or from Coinbase; unless they too can find "greater fools" who will take over their loss by buyin their coins at a higher price.
It is worth reminding people that the price of bitcoin is not pegegd to anything, and no one can honestly predict what it will be next year, or even next week. Since last year, it has been determined almost entirely by speculative trading in the Chinese bitcoin-yuan exchanges. Since the all-time high of 1200$ last November, brought about by the opening of the Chinese market, the price has crashed to 400$, then recovered to 800$, then tumbled to 450$, then rallied to 600$, and is now again on its way down. All these swings were due to the Chinese day traders reacting to policies and events in China, that had no relevance to the world's or Chinese economy except to the Chinese bitcoin market. And its price is not connected to its potential utility as a currency of commerce, since such use has been prohibited in China.
For all that, and more, I hope that the Wikipedia Foundation will reconsider their decision and distantiate again themselves from this highly dubious enterprise.
--Jorge Stolfi (talk) 20:38, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree Bitcoin values are very volatile. It is more of a challenge I guess to "experts" who think they know when the right time to sell is. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:04, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
If turning bitcoins to cash is good enough for the US Government U.S. government to auction massive bitcoin trove I find it difficult to image that Wikipedia doing the same is going to have more significant impact on "undeserved credibility" of bitcoins. Jeepday (talk) 10:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
The U. S. Government is required by law to auction all seized property. (And I have much more respect and admiration for Wikipedia than for the U. S. Government...) --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 16:14, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
That has the ring of untruth, see: Bureau of Prohibition CombatWombat42 (talk) 16:33, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Obviously "all seized property that can be legally sold to the public" --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:33, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Crazy idea, if you don't think people should donate to Wikipedia in Bitcoin. Don't donate to Wikipedia in Bitcoin. People far smarter than either of us have fallen for schemes much riskier or invested in ways far more volatile, it is not your job or Wikipedia's to decide what people do with their money. It is Wikipedia's job to remain in operation. CombatWombat42 (talk) 16:25, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

It is doing pretty well compared to every fiat currency in the world which are all currently diving towards zero. Chillum 16:20, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

lolwut --NE2 16:27, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia refused to accept donations in bitcoin before in order to avoid endorsing this highly dubious commercial enterprise. It was a good decision, and their giving in to the bitcoin salesmen is deplorable. That is it. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:30, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

This discussion is far beyond the scope of any policy for the English encyclopedia, however for what it's worth I think the foundation should accept gifts of any currency. — xaosflux Talk 17:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but where should I voice my concern then? --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:49, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I would start with the links on this page: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Talk:FAQ/enxaosflux Talk 17:58, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Also m:Foundation_wiki_feedback. — xaosflux Talk 18:05, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I will try over there. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:36, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
They're accepting donations in buttcoin, not speculating in it. I bet I could mail them a broken Atari ET cartridge and they'd accept it as a donation (meaning they wouldn't take the time to send it back). --NE2 18:00, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
And for something like BitCoin, they recognize it is volatile, thus are actually having anyone who wants to donate one sell it at market value (via Coinbase), and keeping a fiat currency. — xaosflux Talk 18:03, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Did you actually read the blog post? The WMF doesn't actually keep any bitcoin. It gets immediately converted to USD and then transferred to the foundation. Legoktm (talk) 18:16, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
If you are directing that reply to me: Yes, I know that WMF gets dollars from Coinbase (see the second parag of my post). I am upset about the way the Jul/30 announcement was worded, it read as an endorsement of bitcoin. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:36, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
PS And all the bitcoin media is now boasting that "Wikpedia now accepts bitcoin" or even "Wikipedia adopts bitcoin". --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:40, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Not seeing how this is a policy problem. You'd want to direct this comment to the WMF itself. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:12, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, I did that. Sorry for using the wrong forum (there are so many of them...) All the best.... --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 07:13, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Europe 1 logos unable to move to Commons.

I noted than the logos of the Europe 1 are unable to move to commons, because there is a notice than the Treshold of originality, in France, is lower than in the USA (as explained in the correspondient description of the bellow files). But, As I seen, the logos are too, too simple to meet the Treshold of originality (them consist only in simple text using somewhat common font with simple background). I already moved the latest logo form fr:Wikipedia to Commons (without objections form french users and admins), because this file also I consider bellow the Treshold of originality.

Thanks in advance for your comments. --Amitie 10g (talk) 20:53, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

See WP:NFCC#9. Two of the logos in the gallery are clearly above the threshold of originality of the United States and may not be used in the project namespace on this project. The threshold of originality of France seems to be more about the author having an artistic intention, whereas the threshold of originality of the United States seems to be more about creating something original. This probably means that the threshold of originality of France is very different to the threshold of originality of the United States and that there are plenty of cases where something is copyrightable in one of the countries but not in the other one. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:15, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
I already know the en:Wikipedia's NFCC and I know somewhat than the treshold of originality between France and the USA is very different (as I started this thread), but I think than the first logos are very bellow the treshold of originality (but I don't know if these files are bellow of them in France, despiste the simplicity of the logos). I need to discuss this.
And also, is important to note the differences (for the rest of the users) between copyrightable (almost all works have copyright), and non-free in Commons (not in the PD or not published under free licenses allowed there), but you already know them. --Amitie 10g (talk) 05:14, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Replace most citations linking to TV Tropes

I have a proposal for improving certain citations on Wikipedia, but I have an obvious bias so I'm taking it here first.

I'd like to propose that most citations linking to information on the TV Tropes website be converted to citations at the All The Tropes website instead. All The Tropes is a wiki fork of TV Tropes content with content from July 2012, back when TV Tropes had a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. I am an administrator of All The Tropes.

However, I feel that All The Tropes citations would serve the Wikipedia community better in quite a few ways.

All The Tropes offers better attribution of content than TV Tropes
Because All The Tropes uses Mediawiki rather than a Pmwiki kludge, citations can link to specific versions of pages as sources.
When Wikipedia content is copied, a note will appear in the edit history. Correct attribution is highly enforced by the staff. In many cases, All The Tropes has a more complete edit history than TV Tropes, because history is periodically deleted at TV Tropes while All The Tropes maintains a full revision history.
TV Tropes continues to steal content from Wikipedia editors
Copying between Wikipedia and TV Tropes used to be legal, as they shared the same CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. Many users did so. However, In July 2012, TV Tropes unilaterally changed its content license to CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0. As of November 11, 2013, they changed the license again, and now assert ownership retroactively over all its content. Some of this content was originally created by editors on the English Wikipedia.
Random example of unsourced copying on Wikipedia, because I only find these occasionally: Manhua/TheOne on TVT] and The One (manhua). (Internet Archive version, just in case.)
TV Tropes' actions are a clear violation of the CC-BY-SA license, and the creative and property rights of Wikipedia editors. A full explanation of this is available on my blog, and was a topic of discussion on Hacker News.
The TV Tropes Foundation has made the conscious and willful decision to steal content from its own editors, and from the editors of the various Wikimedia Foundation projects, including English Wikipedia. I emphasize that was not the actions of individual editors copying articles -- which was legal and ethical at the time it was done -- but actions of the administration and ownership of TV Tropes.
All The Tropes is more useful to the Wikipedia community
Because we use Mediawiki and the same license, content can be copied from All The Tropes to Wikipedia (and hopefully citations added soon after, 'cause, y'know). This promotes an open knowledge ecosystem.
Content from TV Tropes cannot be copied anywhere, because it's a potentially illegal mix of CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC-SA, and private ownership -- and it's impossible to know when or if pages were effectively relicensed due to a lack of use of a binding Terms of Service or license agreement on TV tropes. Simply by having links to it, Wikipedia could induce illegal copying of what is ostensibly CC-BY-NC-SA content, but is in fact infringing. Again, full explanation here.
All The Tropes is a noncommercial entity
We run no advertising; we have no income. All The Tropes is supported by the nonprofit Orain wiki farm. TV Tropes is a for-profit corporation distributing content with a noncommercial license.

So: It is functionally, legally, and morally advantageous to convert most TV Tropes citations to use another wiki.

There are other forks of TV Tropes which would be just as good for linking w.r.t. this proposal, but All The Tropes, and its official Wikia mirror are the only ones that forked more than a small portion of the TV Tropes content.

Some links to TV Tropes should remain as relevant to the specific site and its forums; all links should be checked to see whether they in fact serve as appropriate sources on either site. There are a significant number of link, see the list of links to TV Tropes (currently 1956 links).

Anyway, someone should let User:Speededdie know I brought this up, as it is his site that would be affected by this. BrentLaabs (talk) 21:59, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Question: Is the content of either of these wikis composed by professional journalists and authors, and selected for publication, after fact-checking, by an editorial staff? Does the content at specific URLs remain fixed once published, rather than changing over time so that citations could become inaccurate? If not, why are there citations in Wikipedia to either of these sites? —Anne Delong (talk) 22:18, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
The answer to this question would be no, as both wikis have a userbase little different than those on WMF projects. However, as to why such links are available, it would be because certain concepts, such as tropes and related topics have articles here, and for the longest time, TV Tropes has been the go to source for further research and citations, given it's level of notability. However, due to the reasons my colleague outlined above (I am also an admin on All The Tropes [both sites]), linking to TV Tropes for the most part should be considered inadvisable, and we offer our sites as legally tenable alternatives. GethN7 (talk) 22:27, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
To answer your question, Anne: the answer is no. Neither site would qualify as a reliable source. Resolute 23:15, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Good question.
- TV Tropes All The Tropes
Professional authors on an editorial staff same as Wikipedia same as Wikipedia
Selected for publication yes for tropes, no for works yes for tropes, no for works
Fixed URLs no and loses edit history yes (as Wikipedia)
The general idea is that tropes wikis make a good secondary source, but are not typically intended to be a primary source. They provide more information and research, but the original creative work is still considered the primary source, as well as any other linked information. In some cases, particularly webcomics and online works, they are very highly sourced on the page (e.g. xkcd). Pages undergo peer review in a process similar to every other wiki out there.
Tropes are selected for publication on the basis that the pattern exists in media, and specific sources ("examples") are provided. They're also selected on the basis of whether or not the trope is used for as a storytelling tool, or just incidental to human existence ("People Sitting on Chairs" is the classic non-qualifier).
Neither wiki has professional staff. Transfer of money should not be a requirement for an open-source, free content model site like Wikipedia. We attempt to run on the same pattern as the Portland Pattern Repository. If that's not good enough, Wikipedia should remove all links to the original wiki as well.
Hope that answers your questions! BrentLaabs (talk) 23:21, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, aside from articles that are about the sites themselves, I can see that links to the trope sites may legitimately be found in the "External links" section. I had a look at the list of links; well over half are to user pages and talk pages, so we wouldn't want to change those in any case. —Anne Delong (talk) 23:53, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
TVTropes is the pinnacle of an WP:SPS; there's no editor checking, and while the site users do try to maintain order, there's no verifiability or reliability. As such, save if we are talking about TVT itself as the site (as would be the case of its actual article) or a meta-aspect about TVTropes (for example if talking about a certain type of trope that has notability outside TVT, with these other sources point to TVT for some reason), we should never use the site as a reference nor should be included as an EL. --MASEM (t) 00:02, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm... about being "professional": I agree that an author doesn't necessarily have to have been paid for a particular piece of work for it to be considered a reliable source - but there should be some kind of track record, training, or other reason to believe that they are an expert. On a lot of blogs and wikis people don't even use their own names, so it's impossible to tell what writing or editorial or fact-checking experience the person may have. —Anne Delong (talk) 00:12, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree with those who are saying that neither TV Tropes nor All the Tropes are the sort of reliable sources we would normally want. The question is... is there anything better? Is there such a thing as a reliable source for Tropes? Tropes are in many ways the ultimate "Pop culture" cultural reference... like many other pop culture topics, we are probably not going to find the sort of high level sources that we really would like. Blueboar (talk) 00:26, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
No, not really, and it shouldn't be our job to fill in this "blank" about pop culture. Most tropes do not simply get coverage, and effectively TVT is a home for WP:NEO. There are cases where TVT will follow available source - etc. such as for Jumping the shark but most of the rest are from popular opinion, and that's against how WP writes articles (specifically considering notability). And this is speaking as an editor there too.
That said, I will add one thing that came to mind that if we are talking about a specific trope that already has an article due to notability from other sources, then including the TVT link to that trope as an EL is similar to adding an external well-maintained Wikia link to a specific show/movie page, which we do allow as long as it's demonstrated the Wikia is well-maintained, and that's not a question for TVT. --MASEM (t) 00:34, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point that linking to TV Tropes can be construed as inducing copyright infringement. I suppose that's more of an Office issue, though. BrentLaabs (talk) 03:42, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Arguably they (that is, the owners of TVT) don't purposely do it, but they don't actively take steps to stop it being a user contributed wiki. (And I doubt they're the only wiki like this where Wikipedia content is used w/o attribution even if the license is compatible). It is not like they are purposely pulling in WP text and using that blatantly without attribution. There's still good reasons to avoid linking to it in the first place. --MASEM (t) 13:35, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Above I asked of the two Trope wikis had fixed content at a specific URL, and the answer for All the Tropes was yes, like Wikipedia. But this is one of the things that makes Wikipedia not a reliable source: The text on a particular page can change at any time, so if an article is written and a Wikipedia page is cited as verification, by the time someone is reading the article and clicks on the link to a Wikipedia page, the content could be significantly different from when the link was created. This is in contrast to a newspaper, magazine or book, where once the text is published it stays the same in that edition, and can be quoted years later.
You mean like this this link here that will always have your last comment, and which even describes itself as a permanent link? Even the Tools section to the left says "Permanent link" for easy access. Because there is revision control, wikis are typically better at permanent content than newspaper websites, which update stories and occasionally change URLs. All The Tropes -- same software, same feature. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrentLaabs (talkcontribs) 06:22, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Since both TV Tropes and All The Tropes are both open wikis with no editorial oversight, stability, and/or fact checking, neither should be used as a source per Wikipedia's verifiability policy. —Farix (t | c) 12:49, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree. Reyk YO! 13:26, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Agree. As to whether they are valid EL that falls under WP:EL and I don't have much of an opinion about that, yet, since most of the discussion is vaguely about whether they should be "used" and I would say, no they should not be "used" per WP:V. Nor am I convinced that one is "better" than another, so the case for mass change has not been demonstrated enough to raise a consensus that Wikipedia approves of this wiki but not of that wiki. It's not our usual practice to say we approve of someone else's wiki, and we don't even approve of our wiki w/r/t reliability. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:58, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
      • But All The Tropes is demonstrably better in terms of Wikipedia's policies. TV Tropes violates WP:FORK by hosting Wikipedia content with a different license and removing attributions, All The Tropes does not. Because TV Tropes removes attributions of Wikipedia content, it makes is much more easy to create WP:CIRCULAR references, All The Tropes attempts to attribute every page to Wikipedia when it finds them, and upon import. The vast majority of links to TV Tropes are violations of WP:LINKVIO -- and because they delete history, it may be impossible to determine whether a page is in fact not infringing, so the entire site should likely be considered a violation thereof. All The Tropes used a clean CC-BY-SA 3.0 copy of the site, so it does not have these problems. Finally, TV Tropes has no mechanism for permanent links, leading to more WP:DEADREF; All The Tropes has built in permanent links. BrentLaabs (talk) 18:53, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Again, neither websites are reliable sources as both are open wikis that anyone can edit. So it doesn't matter which one is "better". If something is sourced to either website, it should be removed. —Farix (t | c) 19:05, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Farix has it right, but I should point out that trying to paint TVT as FORK is not true. It is their users that incorrectly copy and paste content from WP to TVT, which means they aren't following the CC licensing, but it is not the case that anyone in charge of TVT copied the Wiki pages directly (as per FORK). You're painting them in far too negative a light. They are not wholesale intentionally ripping off WP content, so it is not a LINKVIO. It's still the issue that SPS wikis should not be considered reliable and minimized to ELs only, but from that end, TVT is much more an appropriate EL link as it is a more established Wiki with a much larger user base and time, and thus the better EL to use. --MASEM (t) 19:13, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
          • If they use content that is infringing and/or not compatible with Wikipedia for reuse under their licensing terms, their level of tenure on the Internet should not be applicable here, since Wikipedia cannot use them as a reliable source under their own rules. GethN7 (talk) 19:16, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
            • WP:RS and WP:EL are too different issues and should never be construed as being related. A website that is a reliable source may not be added as an external link and vice versa. —Farix (t | c) 19:29, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
              • Exactly. We're ruling out both TVT and AtT as non-RS, SPS sources and should never be a citation with extreme rare exception (if the material from either is the subject of discussion of other third-party reliable sources, such as talking about these websites on their mainspace articles). But their status of EL falls in WP:ELMAYBE, and what I'm trying to point out is that while users of TVT have copied WP content as TVT content w/o proper attribution, that does not necessarily make TVT a copyright-infringing site that would immediately fall under WP:ELNO; TVT does not exist to infringe copyright but it sometimes happens due to having an open wiki. If we wanted to be strict, then we'd require all open wikis to be removed as EL because of the potential for any user of that wiki to copy WP content (or other content) without attribution, but we don't, we use common sense to understand that that's just a fundamental aspect of a user wiki. --MASEM (t) 20:01, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                • Agree that ATT and TVT may not qualify for WP:RS in most cases. I do believe that ATT, in general, qualifies under WP:ELMAYBE, clauses 3 and 4. But you missed the point that the users are not the copyright infringers, the administration is. TV Tropes willfully changed the content license on CC-BY-SA content, and the removes attributions to violate that part of the license as well. The individual users who contributed Wikipedia content are blameless; the staff and owners have committed the illegal acts. BrentLaabs (talk) 20:14, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                  • The management of TVT does not do that. That is the user base, and that's extremely difficult to control (WP has the same problem too!) The rules on TVT do tell users not to copy/paste without attribution, but that's otherwise as much as they can reasonably enforce. --MASEM (t) 20:16, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                    • The management of TV Tropes does indeed break copyright law, and it continues to do so routinely as a part of its normal operations. I have provided ample evidence of this point in the original post. When the Wikipedia content was contributed to TV Tropes, it was legal for the user to do so. TV Tropes broke the Creative Commons license by relicensing. Period. Their users did not change the distribution license; the site administration did so. Their right to distribute data prior to July 2012 on their own site is terminated. It's all there in green and white. Bringing up user copy/pasting as the problem is a false argument. BrentLaabs (talk) 20:27, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                      • BrentLaabs, all you've done is demonstrate that some content was copied from Wikipedia (in the example, a plot summary). Masem believes that such copying and pasting was likely be the editors (which I also believe as I've seen it happen many times on Wikipedia). This doesn't mean that the management of TV Tropes is doing anything illegal any more than the management of Wikipedia is doing anything illegal when an editor copies and pastes material from another website. The correct thing to do on there end is to restore the attribute on their end. By restoring the attribution, it will fix the licensing problem on their end. In fact, after some quick Google searching, I believe that Wikipeida's plot summery of the example is copied from somewhere else and should be removed. —Farix (t | c) 12:21, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
                          • That's what I was trying to get at, thanks Farix. Even on TVT, they have a statement at [12] under "Legal Stuff" that is a "safe harbor" type provision (and specifically mention copying from WP). They probably have stuff that is copied against the legal requirements of the CC-BY-SA, but they, the site owners, did not specifically put that there and will take action to remove once notified. That's exactly WP's policy too via the copyvio policy. So no, they aren't "illegal" (by WP:ELNO -type definition) to make them unlinkable from WP. --MASEM (t) 13:25, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
                            • I've went ahead and removed the plot summary form the Wikipedia article as it is pretty evident that it is a WP:COPYVIO. I also tagged the article for other issues. It probably wouldn't hurt to check other articles in the same subject area for WP:COPYVIO plot summaries. —Farix (t | c) 13:58, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
                          • I'm pretty OK with all of it being removed. I was just arguing because I thought links to tropes it would be useful to people, but if isn't reliable enough that's fine too. I think that at some point in the future, Wikipedia will have to reconsider the reliability of crowdsourced data, given that it already relies on things like Open Street Map, but that's not really a good topic for discussion at this time.
                            However, from the looks of it, certain people here an abysmal understanding of the Creative Commons licenses. The logic above is akin to saying "if the WMF were to the site-wide copyright license tomorrow, individual users of Wikipedia would be responsible for the resulting infringement," which is patently absurd. Moreover, Safe Harbor does not apply to content that is owned by the information provider under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and TVT claims ownership of all its content, retroactively, including CC-BY-SA content. I will escalate this to the Office tomorrow, where hopefully someone will be able to understand WP:LINKVIO. BrentLaabs (talk) 01:22, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
                            • We're not saying TVT is perfectly clean of any wrong doing nor are you wrong in saying that they have likely tried to claim copyright on CC-BY-SA material without respect for attribution, but in terms of evaluating links under ELNO, the situation they are and how they present their information, they are not the willing participants in any copyright problems and try to fix when they can be found. Pretty much like any other self-published site on the internet, including All the Tropes. If we apply the logic you want us to apply to TVT to remove all links even those as EL, we'd have to do the same for all SPS-based sites, and that's not going to happen. If it was the case that they willing kept copyright WP as the site owners and then did that retroactive relicensing knowing full well they violated , yeah, I'd be all for an all out ban. But we're talking about something that everybody does, it's wrong but it's also stupid to call out one for punishment. --MASEM (t) 01:37, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
                            • OSM shouldn't be used as a source (frankly, neither should the Goog, since that can be user-edited too). OSM is entirely fine as a source for images in articles. --NE2 02:04, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
                  • Those are some rather bold claims, but for now there is no proof. At best, it would only mean that TVT links will be removed from the EL section of articles. However, it does not mean that they may be replaced by your website's links. In fact, this whole discussion is about promoting your website on Wikipedia over TVT. —Farix (t | c) 20:20, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                    • Fair point, Farix, it does come off as promotional, and given how the rules seem to rule out both wikis as reliable links or sources, I would not contest either or both being disqualified. Regardless, TV Tropes circumvention of copyright by its improper licensing moves should disqualify it as a reliable and legally viable source. GethN7 (talk) 20:26, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
                      • It's already "disqualified" as a reliable source because it is an open wiki. Whether its licensing is improper or not is irrelevant at that point. —Farix (t | c) 12:03, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Neither is a reliable source, so Circular is irrelevant. They are wiki's so any user can do practically anything at anytime. My reading of EL is that it generally frowns on the unreliable, so which is "better" also seems irrelevant there, and at any rate I would still at present oppose a policy - on the basis of "better" - for EL (this is VPP - so it's for policy proposals). Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:24, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should the wording of CSD A7 be changed?

A Request for Comment has been posted at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#RfC: Should the wording of CSD A7 be changed?. Comments from the community are welcome.- MrX 01:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should the R3 criterion (Implausible typos) be broadened?

A proposal to broaden WP:R3 by removing the words "Recently created" to allow the speedy deletion of non-recent redirects is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. G. C. Hood (talk) 05:01, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Marginal / "I don't know" deletion

Shouldn't a deletion of a BLP, especially someone who is a minor, default to WP:DELETE when the interpretation of the admin is that the outcome is "marginal" / "I don't know, I give up?"

Is there anywhere that this is outlined in policy?

Thanks, Barney the barney barney (talk) 18:28, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

  • An AFD closed as keep will be upheld as keep when there is no consensus to overturn that result at DRV. So unless this is not the case you're talking about, your characterization of either admin's judgment seems offbase and not a fair or constructive invitation to discuss it. postdlf (talk) 18:47, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Thanks, Postdlf (talk · contribs) - I wasn't talking about one specific example, and I'd rather not talk about specific examples given the amount of personal energy that is often fruitlessly invested in them.

      Admins are human, I get that. Sometimes they make minor errors. Sometimes they say "I can't be bothered, or I don't have the courage, to come down on one side or the other" - especially when the original 2 AFDs discussions were so clear cut in terms of policy.

      But anyway what I want to know is is that a rigid rule and always the case? Are there separate rules for BLPs? Are they perhaps open for discussion now that we might be finding clearly problematic examples? Barney the barney barney (talk) 21:13, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

      • BLP's of marginal notability with a finding of no consensus at AFD will often be deleted. However, DRV is not AFD take-two. --NeilN talk to me 21:30, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
      • (edit conflict) I don't see how we can talk about this without talking about specific examples, because the premise of your post is that current procedure doesn't work because there are "clearly problematic examples". If you want to convince other editors that we need to implement solution, you have to first persuade others that a problem exists. If you are having difficulty understanding the rationale of an admin's close of a discussion (as seems to be the case here), your best and first course of action should be to talk with that admin. postdlf (talk) 21:34, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Wherever we decide to draw the line, some decisions will be borderline. If we adopted a status shou as this, we would be arguing wherer the individual were truly marginal notable, or just notable enough to be not marginal. There is no way to eliminate fuzziness from a global evaluation: the decisions will always be undefined or arbitrary. A more interesting and possibly achievable goal is whether we want to increase our standard of notability for those under 18 (or 16, or whatever age we decide). This would decrease the number of dilemmas where it is not in the best interest of the person to be covered, yet the requirements for notability are met. DGG ( talk ) 12:07, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid#Should we be linking readers (via disambiguation notes, etc.) to the Wikipedia/Help/Manual namespaces from the mainspace?

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid#Should we be linking readers (via disambiguation notes, etc.) to the Wikipedia/Help/Manual namespaces from the mainspace? and comment. –xenotalk 23:59, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I've withdrawn the RfC but anyone who still wishes to provide insight is welcome. –xenotalk 19:45, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

UPDATED: Inclusion proposal for indie dance charts from Beatport, iTunes, Spotify etc

There is currently a proposal for the inclusion of the major digital music distributors, in regards to very specific music charts for indie labels/ music genres, which are not yet covered by Wikipedia. Input and the discussion can be found here. prokaryotes (talk) 23:50, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

There is now a revised proposal for Proposed inclusion of Beatport, for genre-specific notability guidelines. --prokaryotes (talk) 20:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

RFC: Arbitration Committee Elections December 2014

The yearly Arbitration Committee Election request for comment is now open. All editors are invited to participate. Mike VTalk 06:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Notifying without canvassing - advice sought

Greetings, hope I'm in the right place for this question. I want to notify folks involved in a recent AfD about a SPI that at least one of the contributors asked for. Is it OK to post a note to all the AfD contributors? I want to not run afoul of canvassing guidelines. — Brianhe (talk) 21:23, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

In my experience, canavising isn't a what you're doing, it's more a how you go about doing it. Just present the discussion in a neutral way, regardless of your feelings on the matter, and be sure to notify all participants, not just the ones that agreed with you. --NickPenguin(contribs) 22:35, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically

There is no consensus for this to be implemented as a bot editing pages on a global scale. For those who wish to have sorted categories, some custom Javascript is being discussed below that should help. --Mdann52talk to me! 15:01, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion was recently opened at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 61#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically however it was closed off arbitrarily within 24 hours without allowing for fuller exchanges of views and examination of the core issues, just based on initial negative reactions without allowing decent time and a forum for this important discussion that would only benefit Wikipedia! The user who closed the discussion was requested to re-open the discussion, see User talk:Mdann52#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically, he then suggested that the discussion should be on this VPP page. I am therefore re-posting the original question/request with some initial responses to the prior negative responses. Please do not close off this discussion, this is not a vote, it is an attempt to deal with a problem that supposedly involves a "policy" issue that is in fact very weak. Thank you in advance. IZAK (talk) 22:30, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

As someone who has been doing this manually for years, I hereby dutifully beg of anyone who is technically proficient and knows how to create and run a bot that will:
1 Automatically sort all Categories on each article and category page alphabetically;
2 Create a uniform system for where to place categories on each article and category page that commence with numbers, such as years of birth/death, centuries, and any category that starts with a number/numeral.
(A) 1 To see an example of just how tedious this process can be, see this article I just alphabetized the categories manually: before and after. 2 Whoever will undertake this will be doing Wikipedia a great service because it will create order out of the growing chaos as tens of thousands of categories are added and mushrooming, and instate a built-in system for finally automatically alphabetizing categories (after they have been inserted by an editor of course) and placing them in the correct alphabetical and number sequence thus making it easier for any users and readers who search and read categories to locate any categories in a rational manner that are now often just a hodge-podge jumble of scrambled categories, the more notable the topic the more categories on that page and the more jumbled they all are. 3 Wikipedia has all sorts of bots to check spelling, wikify some things, check on citations and even fix them, etc, so it would be greatly appreciated by us poor "categorizers" who just cannot keep up with this at this rate. Thank you so much to anyone who will finally undertake this long-needed improvement that stands to benefit all editors, users and readers of Wikipedia. I will (again) re-notify a few related talk pages about this discussion in order to centralize it. Thank you IZAK (talk) 22:30, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
(B) In response to some prior "objections": 1 While many editors expressed their opposing POVs not really based on solid established fixed WP policies, just on so-called nebulous "conventions" while this subject is important in light of the massive proliferation of categories causing confusion in articles. 2 Many of the POV's expressed assume that what they have to say is "well-known" but it is not! I have been categorizing articles and creating many categories since the inception of categories about ten years ago on WP and I have NEVER come across ANY requirement to abide by ANY rules for all WP categories, that is reflected in the wide array of opinions as to how to categorize. 3 Some say "do it more or less like this" and others say "do it more or less like that" while others say "it would interfere with something" or "it does not interfere with anything", all very confusing just like the state of categories are themselves. 4 Unless there are "mini infoboxes" on each article about how categories are to be applied and used, right now the system is a total unholy mess and no one is willing to do anything about it. IZAK (talk) 22:30, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
(C) Additional comments: 1 All the objections that claimed to cite "policy" were very weak and just seemed to indicate an attitude of WP:ITBOTHERSME & WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT and mentions nebulous and undefined "precedent/s" more than anything else. 2 From what I have experienced in the realm of policies about categories, they are rather weak and have perhaps been formulated in the by-gone times of a decade ago when one or two categories started being placed on articles, now it's a case of many articles getting a blizzard of new categories to the point where they are not practicably usable. 3 Something must be done to rectify this situation. No other system uses "random chaos" or "whatever any random editor desires as criteria" as a "method" for organizing names of anything that makes it impossible to locate a subject when looking for it by category. Millions of articles are suffering from this situation. 4 Even the internal structure of each and every category itself requires that every article be listed in it alphabetically, often with the help of the {{DEFAULTSORT}} template so that it would be insane to claim that alphabetization as the most basic method of organization is not a sine qua non on Wikipedia at this stage. 5 Anyone who has ever used a telephone book or an index or bibliography knows this. It is taught to young children as requirement! People have been brainwashed by the ease of Googling and easy access to "search engines" large and small posted everywhere, but that does not help when visually looking for something and searching for categories on article or category pages. It is just a confusing mess and it's detrimental. Like looking for a needle in a haystack more and more. Thanks you, IZAK (talk) 22:30, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
NOTE
This is not a !Vote but rather an attempt to gather information and arrive at a rough WP:CONSENSUS from as many users as possible about this proposal regarding a BOT that would primarily organize categories on all pages alphabetically in a systematic and systematized manner.
  • Question Does it have to be a bot? From what I see, a simple Javascript would be sufficient to sort the categories on a page. Paradoctor (talk) 23:04, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Paradoctor: 1 Since I am not a "techie" I cannot answer that question in the technical sense. 2 What we have here is a huge problem, the more important an article or a category is, the more categories are placed at the bottom of those pages and the more confusing it is to to zero in on anything. 3 Now while there are those who think that categorizing should proceed via a system of "clumping" groups of "generally-related" categories while ignoring the fact that most educated and literate people assume that they will be able to access information or leads to educational sources (which is what this is about) by simply relying on the alphabetization of names, as anyone would expect from an old-fashioned "basic" telephone directory or as "Indexes" or "Bibliographies" work in all academic works, but that are just missing from something as basic as categories that WP has been kind enough to provide but that in effect are functionally useless. 4 Obviously it is too time-consuming and frustrating to either search for things easily or to do the job of alphabetizing, but that is all part of the problem. What is needed is a solution to this problem that will be solved by whatever automatic system will be deployed to create order out of the current chaos within millions of pages that is just, well, the best word is, unprofessional for such a world class encyclopedia. By the way, classical encyclopedias list all articles in strict alphabetical order as is well known! Thank you, IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@IZAK: I asked because a Javascript would allow you to have alphabetized categories without having to do any edits to articles. You don't need to ask for permission or cooperation from anyone for using a script. If that would solve your problem, I'd gladly write it for you. I could throw in some nice formatting, too, like displaying the categories in a vertical list, or in columns. Paradoctor (talk) 11:35, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thanks! Personally I would need some coaching in this, but the broader issue still remains will the people objecting accept this and is this in fact the best over-all universal solution? My feeling is that this is still a manually-driven activity that requires too much human labor and many man-hours of application, while on the other hand a BOT would be able to sweep along the length and breadth of WP and create standardized alphabetical uniformity that everyone could benefit from, from simple beginner users and casual readers to advanced scholars and editors. Thanks also for illustrating this below, but as I say, the discussion is still at its early stages. If nothing comes of this then I would like to know more about your simpler solution. Thanks again, IZAK (talk) 12:41, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: [Reproducing here my comment originally posted at "Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 61#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically".] I'm going to be contrary here and suggest that the problem with ordering categories according to some "logical" scheme is that such a scheme is often not obvious to other editors. Unless some conventions develop (e.g., for biographical articles, dates of birth and death come first, followed by categories related to the subject's education, and so on), an alphabetical arrangement of categories would arguably make it easier for editors to scan through the list. Even if the first part of the proposal does not pass, I agree with the proposer that it would be helpful for a bot to ensure that the block of categories is in a consistent place in each article. — Cheers, JackLee talk 23:10, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Basically the bot proposal to alphabetize was shot down and any discussion here to change that close should be quickly shut down! As to the other point of making sure that categories are in the correct place. I'm not sure. Is this really a problem? I have seen more problems with external links, references and see also being in the wrong order. Add to that the fact that {{commons}} is almost always in the wrong place in categories and that {{coord}} is almost always surrounded by extra blank lines and I could say we need bots more in other areas. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:18, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
      • @Vegaswikian: Indeed, 1 Wikipedia is not perfect and many things need fixing and upgrading and improvement so your argument is very weak. 2 You are applying a reverse-logic of WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS that somehow "since other things are broken on WP, let's not fix this major broken item". 3 Remember WP:NOTPAPER and there is no limit on what can be created and deployed on it! WP is advanced and sophisticated enough to create solutions for many things, we have come a long way from the early days of WP when anyone could just enter any old information. Now there are WP:ARTICLEWIZARD to help in creating articles, various templates to help with inserting citations. Various bots that pick up and warn users about the most minor spelling mistakes or broken links or copyright violations. None of this stuff and tools existed when WP started out, and with time and good will various features have been created, added and deployed for the betterment of WP and readership. 4 You forget that ease of use and easy access is important for the hundreds of millions of readers who spend time on WP pages and when they see a mess they don't use the categories since who has time to skim through the blatantly mixed-up listing of 51 categories on the Frank Sinatra page for example when all you want is one bit or type of info. 5 Why do you want to cut off this debate? Is there something that frightens you about it? Keep your cool. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 10:20, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
        • There was no reverse logic used. How is changing something that is not broken a useful task? It is now clear to me that your reason for wanting to do this is WP:IDONTLIKEIT. As for cutting off the debate, you are WP:FORUMSHOPPING. You had your discussion and the suggestion was soundly rejected. If you want to discuss the other points that is fine. But the alphabetizing task should no longer be on the table especially here which is clerly not the best place since it is not clear how many interested parties follow this discussion. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:48, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
          • @Vegaswikian: In response, quoting you: 1 "How is changing something that is not broken a useful task?" Nothing is being changed, the majority of users do strive to alphabetize categories in any case, but due to the huge growth in articles and categories even those efforts are not sufficient to maintain that standard, hence the need for help such as via a BOT that would save lots of time and labor that is in short supply. 2 "It is now clear to me that your reason for wanting to do this is WP:IDONTLIKEIT." Not at all, if you scan the vast majority of articles you will clearly see that they all strive for alphabetization of categories because that is what most educated people automatically do when dealing with disorganized titles. 3 "As for cutting off the debate, you are WP:FORUMSHOPPING." No I am not, the previous discussion was cut off barely 24 hours after it began, had it run at least a week I could live with any results. 24 hour cut-offs are not only an insult to human intelligence it's also rude. 4 "You had your discussion and the suggestion was soundly rejected." There was no "discussion". Just one-way reactions, I, or anyone else, was not given an opportunity to discuss anything. 5 "If you want to discuss the other points that is fine." There are no other "points". I am being very clear and at least now there has been an opportunity for the various options to begin to be addressed. Democracy is very refreshing. 6 "But the alphabetizing task should no longer be on the table especially here which is clerly not the best place since it is not clear how many interested parties follow this discussion." Alphabetizing categories is the default choice of the majority of essentially all users (check it out all over for yourself) but it is an imperfectly completed task that needs help because too many categories -- when users choose to focus on organizing categories on pages -- are still left disorganized. I have done my best to bring this discussion to as many concerned people and centralized it here as advised by the user who had hastily closed the prior 24-hour discussion. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 22:26, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
            • The simple answer is bull. I have mostly been working in category section within articles for about 2 years now. I will say, and this is OR, that the vast majority are not alphabetized! There are a few here and there that are, and many users try to respect that, especially if there is a request to do that. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:35, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
              • @Vegaswikian: In ten years of creating hundreds of categories and alphabetizing even more categories I have never had to either "request" to do so nor have I ever encountered any opposition to alphabetizing categories, until I ran into this brick wall over here. And I can tell you I am mighty surprised because having crossed paths with hundreds of editors and creators of articles and categories not once has anyone ever objected to my alphabetizing categories ever! In fact often-times when I arrive at good articles someone has already done that job well and I follow their lead/s! And by the way, just look at most WP articles and you will see they all veer in the direction of the categories on their pages being alphabetized, just with over 4,500,000+ articles and categories & growing, just that the task has become impossible for humans alone to do without some serious assist from the right computer program and software that a BOT could do. So I don't know where you are coming from on this, as you say, maybe just your own "OR". Take care, IZAK (talk) 10:03, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
                • So let me understand this. Your statements are not OR. My changing categories in maybe 50,000 to 100,000 articles may produce a sample that has different results then your smaller sample and is likely wrong. I accept the fact that you have a problem with the opposition to a bot alphabetizing categories. That is something you really need to deal with. While consensus can change, in this case that change, if memory serves me correctly is that the opposition to this change is much stronger. So I don't see why we need to read through this ever lengthening discussion with nothing new really being added. So let's just accept the fact that we don't disagree. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:57, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
                  • @Vegaswikian: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is something that is built in to the interface, and can be directed as needed from articles; the task is not well fitted for a bot as the pages would still need to be tagged as to how they should sort in to each category. — xaosflux Talk 23:31, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This should not be done project-wide. I think this covers it well: "The order in which categories are placed on a page is not governed by any single rule (for example, it does not need to be alphabetical, although partially alphabetical ordering can sometimes be helpful). Normally the most essential, significant categories appear first." -- Netoholic @ 23:37, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Netoholic: 1 This is precisely the core of the problem, vague and grossly self-contradictory non-practical policies from yesteryear that no one even hears (when last was anyone blocked or a case made for "violation" of such obviously ridiculous non-rules?), that is causing sheer havoc for users of categories and needs to be updated and changed and solved. People get used to living with problems when simple solutions could make life a lot easier! In any case the type of thinking you reflect dates back to the days when there was not a blizzard of categories raining down each day on articles with no system in place to make them usable for end-users. 2 As an example, just take a look at the 51 (yes, that's fifty one) categories at the bottom of the Frank Sinatra article (no doubt over the next year or two it will swell to a few dozen more categories!), it's basically useless to even try using one's eyes to scan for any category because the eyes just swim away from it -- dizzyingly. 3 Some of the categories were alphabetized at some point by someone, but then as is typical it's let go, and then what happens is people use the easy way of adding categories via the "Add a new category" Wikipedia:HotCat tool (also a form of bot or whatever they call such an easy tool!) that just lets any random users (experts and no-experts alike) plop another category at the bottom of the categories lists at the bottom of the article without any logic of where it should go, and there it sits in a hodge-podge "alphabet soup mix" until someone cares enough to fix it which may be never, since it's asking too much of overworked editors to do this kind of "housekeeping" chore. 4 So how anyone can justify such a situation of proliferating chaos and bedlam is beyond belief. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This kind of proposal comes up periodically but I still have no idea why anyone would think it's a good idea. Alphabetical ordering of categories is little better than jumbling them up randomly. It does not help readers find them nor give them any sensible ordering because their names follow various rules depending on the subject, and categories embody every possible subject. Alumni categories, for example, follow the form of "[SCHOOL] alumni", so alphabetizing would necessarily split up a biographical subject's education-related categories. Career-related categories also follow different forms depending on what is being subcategorized; writers, for example, follow forms that include "[XX]-century writers", "[NATIONALITY] writers", "[GENRE] writers", and "Writers from [LOCALITY]". So alphabetizing does not help insure that related categories will be grouped nor would it help a reader locate them (and are we pretending that a reader is going to be looking for a particular category on an article rather than browsing which ones are there?).

    The proposer points out that articles within individual categories are alphabetized, but 1) that's not strictly true given that we need to pipe different sorting on everything from people's last names to lists or topic articles where the relevant noun is pretty far into the article title ("History of X" or "List of Xs that Y"); and 2) where we don't need to pipe, that's because such articles will all be of the same kind so that alphabetical is a meaningful ordering, e.g., we're sorting countries with other countries.

    Also, as noted in the previous thread opened by the same proposer, bots should only be used for mass edits that are clearly consensus-supported. This obviously is not. postdlf (talk) 23:50, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

    • @Postdlf: Could you please explain how on Earth this makes any sense?: "Alphabetical ordering of categories is little better than jumbling them up randomly. It does not help readers find them nor give them any sensible ordering because their names follow various rules depending on the subject, and categories embody every possible subject." Any clear thinking person would be aghast to say that "alphabetization = jumbling up" or "alphabetized categories = no rules"?? Thanks, IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. IZAK's summary of the previous discussion (and the rationales provided) is inaccurate. Those opposing the proposed bot task did so on the basis that it's inconsistent with the relevant guideline (a product of longstanding consensus) and explained why the current setup exists (and why uniform alphabetization would be counterproductive). There's nothing "nebulous" about that. No one used the word "precedent", and I don't even know how WP:ITBOTHERSME and WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT are relevant (unless IZAK believes that they apply to any instance in which someone expresses disagreement with an idea). —David Levy 00:29, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    @David Levy: So you admit that there is no clear "policy" to back you, only some nebulous "consensus" from by-gone simpler days that is not officially enshrined anywhere, and certainly does not work as dozens of categories are added to important pages. IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    I mentioned "the relevant guideline" (Wikipedia:Categorization, to which you were directed in both the original discussion and this one). Are you attempting to draw a distinction between policies and guidelines, wherein the former are "officially enshrined" and the latter are not? —David Levy 13:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    @David Levy: You miss the point and that is why we are having this discussion here at WP:VPP (that last letter stands for "Policy" -- a place to thrash it out anew or afresh if need be) because whatever "guidelines" there are or aren't, they are not succeeding in facilitating changes. There is stagnation. Most users when inserting categories veer in the direction of alphabetizing them because it's the default mode practiced by most educated humans when confronted with a jumble of names that are out of order. Step A for most people is always to alphabetize and if you look at most articles that's the way categories generally tend to veer. The problem however is that there are now so many articles and multitudinous categories piling up that far too many categories in articles are just a scrambled mess that reflect neglect and confusion and hence the usefulness of the categories is lost. I am trying to rectify this and propose a solution that will ensure the most basic constancy based on ABC->XYZ. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 22:46, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    You miss the point
    I replied to your comment – purported to describe an admission on my part – "that there is no clear 'policy' to back [me], only some nebulous 'consensus' from by-gone simpler days that is not officially enshrined anywhere".
    and that is why we are having this discussion here at WP:VPP (that last letter stands for "Policy" -- a place to thrash it out anew or afresh if need be)
    Do you sincerely believe that I require such an explanation? In the original discussion, I stated that "it's reasonable to propose that categories be ordered in a uniformly alphabetical manner" and explicitly cited this page as an appropriate forum.
    At no point have I asserted that the guideline (in its present form) is sacrosanct and cannot be changed. If and when consensus for a different approach (uniform alphabetization or another alternative) is established, the guideline will be modified accordingly. Until such time, the current version remains in effect, and I (among others) have tried to explain to you that the proposed bot task is inconsistent with it. You've responded with a claim (incorrectly attributed to me) that it "is not officially enshrined anywhere" (the meaning of which you've declined to clarify). —David Levy 00:42, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
    @David Levy: "If and when consensus for a different approach (uniform alphabetization or another alternative) is established, the guideline will be modified accordingly." And that is precisely why we have commenced this discussion! Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing! There is nowhere else such a discussion can be held if not here and now. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 10:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    @IZAK: No, you gave this discussion the title "Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically". It's therefore about tasking a bot to enforce alphabetical sorting. It is not about modifying the guideline. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:06, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    Such a bot could only be allowed after a corresponding change to policy. Presumably, this proposal is framed in terms of a bot because that would make indeed sense if the proposal gets accepted. Note that IZAK came to VP/P, not VP/T. See also this edit. The name of this section can be changed if you insist. Paradoctor (talk) 15:21, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    Framing the discussion in that manner would make sense. Instead, IZAK denies the guideline's existence/validity, claims that "alphabetization of all categories is the preferred choice of almost all WP users", and insists that "nothing is being changed" under this proposal (purported to merely ensure consistent application of a system already in use). —David Levy 18:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    And that is precisely why we have commenced this discussion!
    And I recommended that the matter be discussed here. But how do you expect to effect change when you explicitly assert that no change is proposed? —David Levy 18:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    @David Levy: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No, and furthermore categories should be sorted logically rather than alphabetically. In the example you gave, you have "Communication ministers - Culture ministers - Democratic socialists - Education ministers". You have an ideology (Democratic socialist) mixed in among their cabinet-level positions. This is not optimal. For a typical article, you're going to have "American science-fiction writers" separated from "Writers from Austin, Texas" by the entire list of all the other things she is -- what school she went to and so on. I do not this this is best. "Writers from Austin, Texas" should be grouped either with other categories relating to the person being from Austin or categories relating to the person being a writer -- there's an art to this and and ideally you could get it close to both groups. But to sandwich "Writers from Austin, Texas" in between "Wentworth Military Academy alumni" and "Xavier University alumni".... don't do that. Alphabetization has its place and it's preferable to complete randomness (for one thing, logically connected categories have some tendency to cluster alphabetically -- "American this", "American that" -- but it's a weak tendency), but it's not optimal. Herostratus (talk) 02:32, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I mean, I don't want to discourage anybody from sorting alphabetically if the categories in a given article are a random mess. It's quicker than logical sorting (no decisions to make), is not subject to error, gives some sort of order to the mess, and probably improves the logical ordering too, over mere randomness. Furthermore, I can't prove that that alphabetic sorting isn't better. It varies between readers I suppose. My gut feeling is that logical ordering is better. It's not something that could easily be proven either way.
So it the categorization is a random mess, fine. But if it's already logical ordered leave it alone, and it it's one of the articles I'm watching I'm liable to reverse it based on not being an improvement. Herostratus (talk) 02:54, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Herostratus: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – as pointed out already, editors and projects often have good reason for their placement of categories. The nominator's argument that alphabetically sorted categories help readers to find categories they're interested in is a furphy because category names follow no regimented naming system. I also consider edits like the one the nominator offered at Shulamit Aloni disruptive: the revision history tells me that 44 characters have been added, but the total jumble of the categories in the diff view make it impossible to ascertain what was added; I would probably revert such an edit. (Yes, this is a copy of what I wrote 2 days ago at Wikipedia:Bot requests.) -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:32, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Michael Bednarek: 1 You say "editors and projects often have good reason for their placement of categories" -- and this is precisely part of what is causing mass confusion because there is no uniformity. 2 You are justifying the chaos of a "Tower of Babel" (i.e. "...Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth... —Genesis 11:4–9") because 3 your end result is not order it is just people talking at cross-purposes and cross-wires and no one one knows which system applies anywhere without "consulting" other editors who have set themselves up as "experts" of confusing readers who just want simple rational easy to locate access to information, and not a "theory" of how subjects got mixed up or how to mix up subjects and then you expect everyone to unravel a "rubik's cube" set-up of categories on every page. IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose (Copying in my original comment that alphabetisation is not beneficial when searching for unknown elements - as is the general usage of category navigation). Categories are better when sorted semantically, with the most relevant first. This is because a reader (using this system for navigation to similar articles) will often not be looking for a category that already have in mind. As a result, alphabetising categories serves little purpose because that is a useful arrangement only when trying to locate elements that are known. That said, I would approve of a proposal that births/deaths/living people categories should always be first listed on biographies as a standard. SFB 06:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Sillyfolkboy: What does "Categories are better when sorted semantically" mean? Does it require a degree in semantics? Most users arrive with far more basic assumptions and expectations. When searching or researching through a good text book you head straight for the Back-of-the-book index and not for the "semantics" of it. IZAK (talk) 10:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
      • @IZAK: It means moving the most relevant and similar categories to the top and the less relevant ones to the end. (You can read semantics if you want to learn more.) A reader will view categories from start to finish. No reader goes to the index to read it from A-Z. Readers use an index because they are already looking for a certain term. It is only in that instance where alphabetising gives a navigational benefit and known elements can be located more quickly than in an non-alphabetised list. SFB 06:41, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
        • @Sillyfolkboy: Granted, there can be only ONE category at the top of any list of categories that I will say, and that is an eponymous category that matches the exact name of an article, just as all category pages aim to have their equivalent {{main}} article at the top of each category's page. Other than that, as they say "one man's bread, is another man's poison" and what one person may consider to be the best and hottest "theme" or "semantic" "guideline" for a category grouping will drive another editor up the wall. There will never be any solution or agreement about such things because people have subjective criteria for what they hold to be important to themselves. To people from California coming from that state it may be more important than being a band leader, etc. Take care, IZAK (talk) 10:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
          • @IZAK:Placing eponymous categories at the start would be another proposed guideline that I would support. There is certainly some subjectivity in the preferred order of the semantic groups, but (at least in biographies) there are often high level choices with a sound basis. See Usain Bolt as an example: birth/living leads, followed by occupation categories, then competition categories grouped (the remainder are more assortive). I hope this helps to show how a non-alphabetised system can make a lot of sense for a reader looking at previously unknown categories. SFB 18:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
            • @Sillyfolkboy: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose—per above and the fact that there a number of logical ways to organize entries, and alphabetical is only one. It is also not always the best one. Imzadi 1979  06:53, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose This proposal is putting the cart before the horse. Per most of the above !votes there is no consensus (or even a really good argument) for alphasorting categories at all. Proposing a bot to do <something> automagically when there is no consensus that the <something> even should or needs to be done at all simply makes no sense. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:07, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose What I said at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 61#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically still stands, and see also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories/Archive 4#re alphabetizing categories on the article pages. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:45, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    @Redrose64: 1 Your "see also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories/Archive 4#re alphabetizing categories on the article pages" basically sounds like a group of people saying WP:ITBOTHERSME & WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT because it does not address the current situation whereby dozens of categories are being added to articles all the time and 2 with the "opinions" expressed on that talk page, basically only the users who place their jumbled-up groups of categories on a given article would know how to use it. 3 This is like arguing for the acceptance of an esoteric and secret language or mysterious "code" that requires something on the level of "code breaking" to figure out the random no rhyme nor reason for the way categories are clumped up in groups all over the place and no one knows how to easily and quickly reach the related contents they may be looking for in any article. 4 It also overlooks that Wikipedia users include basically all school-children who can read, college students, and just ordinary people (hundreds of millions of end users) all of whom have been educated and trained to find things in an orderly alphabetical fashion. That is the way the world works. 5 In fact ALL Wikipedia categories internally list ALL articles alphabetically automatically sorted based on either the first letter of an article's name unless corrected by "|" sign in a category that then directs the article to its correct position in the alphabetical listing within the designated category. 6 The same alphabetical rules and methodology and system should apply to categories when placed on any article or other category pages, and this is what a BOT could easily solve and thereby make life easier for the hundreds of millions of the global READERSHIP of WP who are not WP "experts" nor are they editors with their own turf to protect for whatever reasons. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 11:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    The order that pages are listed in a category has nothing to do with the order that categories are listed on a page. The rules of one do not apply to the other. Please also note that WP:BOTREQUIRE, fourth and fifth bullets, means that no bot will be approved to carry out the task you want, since it is far too controversial. You're also not going to get many people to change their minds by bashing off a 1,000-character response to each of the responders here; WP:TLDR applies. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:15, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    It's become clear that you regard your preferred method as self-evidently correct and intend to dismiss any contrary views as "people saying WP:ITBOTHERSME & WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT". Editors have attempted to explain why they regard the current approach as more practical, but you're so convinced that it results in sheer pandemonium that you characterize others' arguments as advocacy of such. This is unhelpful. —David Levy 13:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    @David Levy: To repeat, if you review the vast majority of articles on WP you will see that no matter all the opposition being expressed here, all of that is a minority view because simple alphabetization of all categories is the preferred choice of almost all WP users, just the task is not being completed and performed proficiently and far too many articles are looking like they are "schizophrenic" in the categories department. It's also becoming clear that while most users are expressing themselves and I am taking the time to respond as fully as I can and we are having a frank exchange you are choosing to respond by violating WP:AGF. Please cut me some slack and don't be "strict" with me, we are not in "high school" and you are not the "headmaster" to crack the whip at me. If you wish not to respond fine, but to just read me the riot act gets us nowhere. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 22:59, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    To repeat, if you review the vast majority of articles on WP you will see that no matter all the opposition being expressed here, all of that is a minority view because simple alphabetization of all categories is the preferred choice of almost all WP users,
    You've begun asserting this continually. I just viewed twenty-five random articles, of which four contained categories listed alphabetically. Of those, one contained five categories (and the alphabetization appeared deliberate) and the other three contained two or three categories each (so the alphabetical order might have been coincidental, but let's assume that it was intentional). Note that I excluded two articles (containing one category each) from the sample. Also note that had I encountered an article containing a large quantity of alphabetized categories with some deviations, I'd have counted it too (but that didn't occur).
    just the task is not being completed and performed proficiently and far too many articles are looking like they are "schizophrenic" in the categories department.
    And I assume that this is your explanation. (In your view, apparently, categories not arranged alphabetically are inherently disorganized and serve only as evidence of chaos.)
    It's also becoming clear that while most users are expressing themselves and I am taking the time to respond as fully as I can and we are having a frank exchange you are choosing to respond by violating WP:AGF.
    Please quote the message(s) in which I accused you of acting in bad faith. For the record, I believe no such thing.
    Please cut me some slack and don't be "strict" with me, we are not in "high school" and you are not the "headmaster" to crack the whip at me. If you wish not to respond fine, but to just read me the riot act gets us nowhere.
    I opined that your approach has been dismissive of others' views. You're entitled to disagree, but I'm baffled as to why you interpreted that criticism as something analogous to the above. —David Levy 00:42, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @David Levy: No David, you are simply proving my point there is NOTHING "coincidental" about what the "alphabetical order might have been" of categories in articles, as you have seen for yourself from your field trip across WP (surprised you have not noticed this before) while I can tell you from hands on ten years of experience that almost UNIVERSALLY the "default" practical methodology of organizing categories is alphabetically-motivated and as you rightly point out it's an over-all disorganized, and thankless, situation and task, that is in serious need of a remedy and therefore as I suggest let a BOT do the sorting and stop all the disorganization you have just borne witness to yourself. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 10:33, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

How carefully did you read my reply? Yours is a non sequitur (bordering on self-parody). —David Levy 18:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
@David Levy: To Repeat: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose When creating new biographies, the first two categories I always list are year of birth, then either living people/year of death. These seem to be the most important. Then I'll add the most relevant categories related to the subject (IE - the defining aspects of why the bio was created in the first place) and then add the semi-trival ones last. A-Z doesn't really serve much purpose, unless the article literally has dozens and dozens of categories. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 09:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Lugnuts: 1 You have obviously not read point two of my proposal that deals with precisely your concern, "Create a uniform system for where to place categories on each article and category page that commence with numbers, such as years of birth/death, centuries, and any category that starts with a number/numeral", by creating a BOT that will simultaneously alphabetize the categories and put any categories beginning with any sort of number (such as years, decades, centuries) into one rational systematized order across all WP pages. 2 Right now many users have no clue where to place such number-categories, sometimes they are at the bottom of the list and sometimes at the top or in the middle. 3 The easy to use Wikipedia:HotCat buttons at the bottom of every article's and category's pages add to the problem because if a user wishes to add a category beginning with a number (like a date or year or century) it simply gets placed at the bottom of the existing categories list on an article's page awaiting some kind-hearted editor to come along and put it at the top or wherever it should have been in the first. 4 That's like making a big mess and waiting for an adult figure with sense or responsibility to clean up after the mess-makers and enablers, and it's gotten out of hand, which is why I have finally brought up this untenable situation. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 10:58, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
      • @IZAK: You have obviously missed the point. Read my post again. And again. It's about not having the Category:Living people buried in a mess of other categories, when that is clearly the most important. Got it now? Good. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 11:28, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
        • @Lugnuts: Totally absurd. You mean, for example, that even a very minor living French pop-singer who may have a {{stub}} about themselves should be more WP:N than, say, the long-dead Napoleon? Who came up with such a "rule" that if someone is alive they get "top-billing" on Wikipedia? All people do die, so what happens when people die off, do you then go around and "demote" them to the realm of the "dead" on their WP pages? You do realize how absurd such a system sounds don't you? That is why alphabetization is used by all humanity everywhere since it does not "discriminate" between those who are dead or alive, because there cannot be system of "favorites" where people who favor one subject get to choose where a clump of categories goes on an article while those who favor another way put the clumps somewhere else. One group alphabetizes and another reverts them, that is setting up WP:EDITWARS over NOTHING! This is totally bizarre and in all of my ten years of active categorizing articles and creating hundreds of new categories, I have never heard of such a non-proposal. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 11:55, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
          • Lugnuts meant that Category:Living people is more important in the context of a living person than most other categories are (with a "year of death" category the equivalent in an article about a deceased person, as noted above). No comparison between living and deceased people was made. —David Levy 13:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
            • DL has it correct. The below example of Frank Sinatra is a good one. Let's say he is still alive. The Category:Living people would sit snuggly between Cat:Kennedy Center honorees and Cat:Male actors from New Jersey. D'oh! Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 14:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @David Levy: @Lugnuts: That is why it is bad precedent to set up arbitrary "rules" of "living" or "dead" since there is absolutely no way to arrive at a consensus for such things, while simple alphabetization is the simplest universal default choice and the manner of doing this for most people, and it is hard to believe such a truism would need so much "proof" it is just so self-evident. I had cited the Frank Sinatra article as an example of chaotic categories before it is changed to suit anyone's POV. "sit snuggly"?? IZAK (talk) 23:17, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

That is why it is bad precedent to set up arbitrary "rules" of "living" or "dead" since there is absolutely no way to arrive at a consensus for such things,
That isn't even an on-topic response; you simply dropped relevant keywords into yet another reiteration of your argument, presented as though it somehow refutes something written above.
while simple alphabetization is the simplest universal default choice and the manner of doing this for most people, and it is hard to believe such a truism would need so much "proof" it is just so self-evident.
And that's the crux of the problem. You regard your preferred method as self-evidently correct, struggle to fathom how anyone could fail to recognize something so blindingly obvious, and can only conclude that we must be a bunch of anarchists rebelling against the practice that all sensible editors employ. —David Levy 00:42, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
@David Levy: I am not "struggling" with anything. I am just amazed that in my ten years of creating hundreds categories and alphabetizing hundreds of them if not more, with not so much as peep to oppose what I have diligently been doing, if anything most people tend to neglect this area of categories (no wonder when they are so confused and confusing) having spent basically a decade trying to sort out the mess. Now comes this discussion and about half a dozen or so editors are adamant that alphabetizing categories is equivalent to the "original sin". Don't worry about me, whatever happens as a result of this discussion it will not be in vain for "Rome was not built in a day" and neither was Wikipedia or its way of organizing categories. So now I have met the people who like to organize by "theme" or "semantics" or who just prefer what they imagine to be "random chaos" or just go by the theory of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" no matter that categories are seriously broken as they pile up in articles following no rule or method of organization and it is fascinating to watch the scorn that people heap on the power of the simple alphabet to get us all out of the growing quagmire. Oh sorry, some think it's a "paradise" -- take your pick. Either way, I am not worried, life will go on. Thanks, 10:54, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I am just amazed that in my ten years of creating hundreds categories and alphabetizing hundreds of them if not more, with not so much as peep to oppose what I have diligently been doing,
Are you under the impression that others' position is that alphabetizing categories is never appropriate and must be stopped?
Now comes this discussion and about half a dozen or so editors are adamant that alphabetizing categories is equivalent to the "original sin".
That answers my question, I suppose. —David Levy 18:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose default alphabetization, bot or not I sorted the Sinatra categories with the following result:
Sinatra's categories in alphabetical order
  • 1915 births
  • 1998 deaths
  • 20th-century American male actors
  • 20th-century American singers
  • Academy Honorary Award recipients
  • American baritones
  • American crooners
  • American jazz singers
  • American male film actors
  • American male radio actors
  • American male singers
  • American male voice actors
  • American people of Sicilian descent
  • American philanthropists
  • American pop singers
  • Analysands of Ralph Greenson
  • Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (film) winners
  • Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winners
  • Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (film) winners
  • Burials at Desert Memorial Park
  • California Democrats
  • California Republicans
  • Capitol Records artists
  • Cecil B. DeMille Award Golden Globe winners
  • Columbia Records artists
  • Congressional Gold Medal recipients
  • Deaths at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Deaths from myocardial infarction
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Grammy Award-winning artists
  • Grammy Legend Award
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners
  • Grand Officers of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  • Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award winners
  • Kennedy Center honorees
  • Male actors from New Jersey
  • Male actors of Italian descent
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract players
  • Musicians from New Jersey
  • New Jersey Democrats
  • New Jersey Republicans
  • Peabody Award winners
  • People from Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
  • Qwest Records artists
  • Recipients of the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class
  • Reprise Records artists
  • Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award
  • Swing singers
  • Torch singers
  • Traditional pop music singers

This is clearly no better than the current situation. Having said that, it is clear that there is considerable room for improvement in this matter. Paradoctor (talk) 11:51, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

  • @Paradoctor: Thanks! That's one down and four and half million articles plus who knows how many more tens of thousands of categories to go on the English WP alone! Thanks for admitting that "Houston we have a problem" though, much appreciated, it is definitely a step in the right direction for solving the massive unholy mess. By the way, why do you oppose a BOT so much, since after all by now no human being or even a group of willing and able editors can fix the millions of pages with the jumbled up categories. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 12:03, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "you oppose a BOT" Hein? It's not the bot I have a problem with, it's the proposal to require "default alphabetization", which should have been clear from the bolded description of my !vote. For articles with few categories alphabetization makes no difference, and for articles with many categories there always a more useful way of arranging categories. This means that alphabetization is either useless or detrimental, depending on where it hits. That is why the guideline says "it does not need to be alphabetical". This means that what you propose has already been discussed by the community, and has been rejected, by wide consensus. For a nice and clear example of how non-alphabetic order beats alphabetic hands down, see the Stephen Hawking example below. Paradoctor (talk) 18:26, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Paradoctor: The way I read "it does not need to be alphabetical" is that "of course most people would and do alphabetize categories since that's the normal rational and simplest way such things are done, but if someone comes up with unorthodox or alternate ways of categorizing it is not a violation either." It is just giving wiggle room for the thankless task of organizing categories, which may have been good for a bygone era when there were fewer articles and categories. Now we have millions of articles and related categories. With most users as evidenced by perusing most WP article pages striving for alphabetization of categories, but because of the vast numbers involved huge numbers of articles are being bombarded with unsorted categories that makes Wikipedia look unorganized. "Hein"?? IZAK (talk) 23:17, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • WP:CATDEF "Normally the most essential, significant categories appear first." (my emphasis) This is similar to MOS:DABORDER, and contraindicates alphabetical order for the vast mojority of cases.
"Hein" wikt:hein#French Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 10:14, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Categories have enough issues without worrying about order. JMJimmy (talk) 12:00, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @JMJimmy: Very puzzling comment. While you admit that categories have many problems you are unwilling to support the creation of a BOT that would alphabetically automatically sort out categories reducing the need for human intervention beyond the creation and application of a WP:BOT. Pray do tell what you are thinking. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 12:07, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any value in organizing them alphabetically. The only sorting value I could see is a hierarchical one and doing that properly would require a code update not a bot. The only possible value I might be convinced of is on pages with insane number of categories, however, in those cases I'd prefer to trim rather than sort. JMJimmy (talk) 12:17, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: 1 You say "The only possible value I might be convinced of is on pages with insane number of categories" so you do partially agree with me, because as things stand right now the problem is growing and the question of what is an "insane" number is left out in the open. 2 Someone may find ten categories on a page "insane" while another user may think that anything under 50 is "normal" and anything above that is "insane" so who gets to decide what is "sane" or"insane" on WP? 3 However, a BOT that automatically organizes all categories in alphabetical order without prejudice to any other criterion would impose sanity on what is an over-all insane situation. 4 When you say "however, in those cases I'd prefer to trim rather than sort", as anyone who has been on the front-lines of categorization knows people get very touchy and possessive in WP:OWN manner of what they regard as "their" favorite way of listing categories and any long-term attempts at making sweeping changes will land you in a WP:EDITWAR with someone monitoring those pages, all this contributes to a stalemate where categories get neglected and other users are afraid and couldn't be bothered to make needed upgrades and positive changes. Thanks again, IZAK (talk) 13:00, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
1) I don't agree with you - when something like this happens I think they should be gutted as categories like that are better served by list pages. 2) not important 3) I'd much rather a human editor who can sort them by subjective importance than alphabetically. 4) see 1, people get touchy about everything here, it's nothing new. There's an in-crowed who can do what they want and an out crowd who have to justify every action. It is what it is. JMJimmy (talk) 13:15, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: Love your response, at least you make sense from your POV. IZAK (talk) 23:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per @Imzadi1979: who makes the case most succinctly. --Rosiestep (talk) 13:28, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. alphabetization is a standard organizing principle. But beyond that, automatization frees up the brain cells of humans to do other things. If at a future time further adjustments need to be made to the relatively simplistic system of organization by alphabetical order, those adjustments too should be made by bot. For instance perhaps articles need to be addressed differently by type of article. Bots can be made just for WP:BLPs, for instance. Bots can be made just for articles on geographical locations, for instance. And a general bot can be set loose on everything that does not fit into neat areas set aside for special treatment. Bus stop (talk) 11:37, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
So you are saying we should not put the most important/relevant categories first, except when they begin with "1" or "A"? That would be the consequence of requiring alphabetization. Paradoctor (talk) 13:09, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Who is deciding the order of importance for Categories? Presumably a Category is important or it would not be used. The prose portions of an article are written according to conventions of good writing. Our Manual of Style or other style guides can tell us about how to write an article. But what is guiding us in the organization of the collection of Categories found at the bottom of a page? I think alphabetization is a good method of organization. I think the Category box at the bottom of the page would be easier to peruse if all Categories were stacked in single file, one above the other. Just as we have [show]/[hide] options we could have an [organize Categories vertically] option above the box containing the Categories. It would not be hard to peruse a vertically organized collection of Categories and alphabetization would rationalize the order in which Categories appear. Bus stop (talk) 14:23, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
"vertically organized" Copy #mw-normal-catlinks li,#mw-hidden-catlinks li {display:block} to User:Bus stop/common.css, that should do the trick.
"Who is deciding" I think you mean "which criteria decide". Since the category box is there to enable navigation, the answer is: Whatever makes navigation easiest. This situation is pretty much analogous to disambiguation, so MOS:DABORDER applies in spirit, if not in the exact letter. All things being equal, the category that will take the most clicks to their intended destination comes first. Paradoctor (talk) 16:34, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sorry to pile on, but this is a bad idea. Enforced alphabetization does not help readers. I firmly agree with Lugnuts on this issue, and I do the same exact thing. We should logically group related categories and prioritize the most important ones. If someone is alive, that is a (maybe even the) defining characteristic of the person. Within logical groupings, it is entirely reasonable to alphabetize them, but it is wrong to compulsively force everything into alphabetical order. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 23:47, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The funny thing that I have requested something similar many many years ago. I realised at some point that this is not a good idea. It's impossible to create a generic law for that kind of things. For instance if the page title matches the category (for example: Stephen Hawking and cat:Stephen Hawking) it is better to have this on the top IMO. Similar things may apply to other things such as cat:Living people which makes more sense to be after xxxx births cat. Same applies for Year of birth missing cat which makes more sense to rename it as soon as the birth year is found instead of replacing it and moving it. Probably, there are more examples but I think I made my point. I do not recall any epic edit wars for category sorting. I would not like to see one starting now. -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:57, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course any Category that is identical to the title should come first. All who have commented on that have agreed with that. But the other Categories actually don't have any "right" order or any "preferable" order. These Categories are found in a box at the bottom of the article to be used as the reader sees fit and we editors haven't the foggiest idea how a reader will see fit to use Categories. It is humorous to think that we know the reason a reader is using our encyclopedia. The more important purpose of an encyclopedia is as a source of pure knowledge as opposed to applied knowledge. Wikipedia is not an instruction manual or a "how-to" guide. Among our purposes is not the training of automatons. I for one would like to think that I am writing an encyclopedia for some readers who have original ideas. I wouldn't think for a minute that I could contrive an arrangement of the Categories that would facilitate their research. We should not delude ourselves into thinking that we know, on an article-by-article basis, the best order for displaying Categories. Bus stop (talk) 01:01, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm unsure of the value of categorization in the first place. Organizing them via some arbitrary system strikes me as completely unnecessary. Protonk (talk) 14:56, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Identifying types of articles for which alphabetical arrangement of categories is undesirable

I see a lot of editors using biographical articles as an example of why categories should not be alphabetically arranged. Perhaps, then, we should think about reaching some consensus on how categories should be arranged in biographical articles. Are there other types of articles for which an alphabetical arrangement of categories would not be desirable, and if so, what is the best order for arranging their categories? If these particular situations can be identified, then perhaps an alphabetical arrangement would be all right for other situations. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

  • In all articles some or other thematic arrangement is best. Alphasorting within a "thematic cluster" of categories might make sense if such a cluster is large enough to make it worthwhile. Simple alphabetic-only sorting is undesirable in all cases, unless there is no discernible thematic cluster - very unlikely to be the case with articles that have more than 5 or 6 categories - sorting such short lists of categories is pretty pointless anyway. I don't see how it would be possible to even identify any "types" of articles where alphasorting would be preferable over any other arrangement. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • @Dodger67: Question: Who came up with this notion of sorting categories by "theme" and who decides what themes are good and what themes are a no-no? when internally ALL categories sort all the articles they hold alphabetically and it's even alphabetically facilitated across the board by the {{DEFAULTSORT}} template found on many pages that pushes any other "system" aside. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 12:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Helpful would be a few concrete examples of articles with a lot of categories, where the arrangement of the categories is generally agreed to be close to optimal. This would help determining what rules are useful in arranging categories. Do such examples exist? Paradoctor (talk)
  • @Paradoctor: Now that is one heck of a request because it touches on the core problem -- that there is NO such "optimal" set of articles or method, it's everyone doing as they please and when it does not suit someone they just revert as they please, something an automated BOT sorting ALL categories alphabetically would finally put a stop to and create simple order of vast bedlam. You are dealing with trying to discover and aggregate something out of over 4 million articles and countless category pages. Just choose random articles all over the place of notable topics and you will see for yourself that what you ask for does not really exist, just mountains and mountains of self-contradictory unhelpful chaos in categories to the point that their usefulness is lost as the tide of more categories are added to pages each guided by the whims and fancies of any particular editor who just has his or her own way of placing categories! Thanks, IZAK (talk) 12:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm afraid you misunderstood me. I did not ask for a set of articles jointly conforming to some rule of ordering categories, I asked for examples where each article on its own is considered to have a nicely organized set of categories. Comparing these pages then might permit to find general rules worthy of discussion as a proposal to improve upon WP:CATDEF.
"vast bedlam" Lots of people around the globe find our bedlam rather tasty, I daresay. It's kind of like democracy: much messier than monarchy, but people still seem to prefer it. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Needless to say my love of Wikipedia is as great as anyone's else's, why else would I still be editing here and getting into discussions like this after over 11 years on the job as a pure labor love? But from what I can tell, you are now saying, the heck with everything because WP:IGNOREALLRULES is now the new "law of the jungle" by which to "sort out" categories on Wikipedia. IZAK (talk) 23:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
"as great as anyone's else's" Nobody doubted that. The way you talk, though, one can get very easily the impression that you are intent on imposing a single simple ruleset on everyone, when numerous members of the community give you reasoned arguments to the contrary. Your reaction above is a point in case. You framed my request in terms of a single rule, rather than seeing the possibility that I could've meant to evaluate pages individually. You mentioned that Wikipedia has grown and matured quite a ways from the CamelCase days. Maybe it would be a good idea to apply that argument to our policies. They evolved, too, which makes it rather likely that any single rule in it represents WP:CONSENSUS hashed out very thoroughly. Paradoctor (talk) 10:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Neglect does not "equal" "consensus" and an open discussion does not mean the end of the world either. Hang in there! IZAK (talk) 10:54, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
More than 500 watchers and ≈400 views/day pretty clearly negate any idea of "neglect".
If you talk about the individual articles, you might want to consider WP:SILENCE. As long as nobody objects, there is absolutely no problem with you alphabetizing categories. Paradoctor (talk) 13:43, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Isak... What's wrong with editors at each article ordering the categories as they think best? Why do we need a system? You call the current situation bedlam... I call it flexibility. The current situation is only a problem if you think categories need to be in some sort of uniform system. If you don't care about the order (and most of us don't) then there is no need a uniform system. My take... If editors want to list categories in alphabetical order at article X, fine... if they want to use some other system at article Y, that's fine too... and, if at article Z, they want to have no system at all (and just have the cats be random)... that's also fine. Blueboar (talk) 12:54, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
        • @Blueboar: 1 While your comments are well-meaning, what you say applies to simpler days when categories first started about 10 years ago and in that early era a couple or more categories pasted in any which way did not matter in any way because anyone could take a look at the articles and use the categories. It still works that way for many simple articles. 2 But the situation has drastically changed since those early days because as articles have evolved in complexity, and richness of content is improved, like-wise proportionately one finds that such articles become loaded with bloated amounts categories that are so randomly sprinkled about that no one can make heads or tales of them without looking at them through a "microscope" as it were. 3 The problem is compounded with the Wikipedia:HotCat tool on every page that simply lets anyone add categories that are then placed at the bottom of any list of categories at the bottom of any page, without them ever getting sorted into any schemata whatsoever, something an automated BOT that could place all categories in alphabetical order would solve. 4 Here are just a few random examples of the chaos in categories I am talking about, see these articles: Leon Trotsky (49 totally scrambled categories); Dean Martin (with 29 jumbled-up categories); Alfred Hitchcock (23 confused categories, with some sorting); Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (32 categories spread around); Jane Fonda (37 categories, about 15 are totally out of order). 5 While here are good examples of how alphabetization helps: Napoleon; David Ben-Gurion; George Washington (one is out of place at the bottom); Adolf Hitler; Marlon Brando; Golda Meir; Walt Disney. 6 This dissonance and variance needs a way to be standardized so that one system of alphabetization of categories prevails. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 14:05, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I disagree... If editors desire to place the categories listed on those pages in some sort of order, I have no problem with them doing so... but there is no pressing need to do so. And if the desire exists, why choose alphabetization over some other ordering system? To be honest, I would find an alphabetized order to be just as confusing as leaving the cats in random order. An alphabetized list of cats certainly would make it any easier for me to navigate to other articles on similar subjects (which is the whole point of categorization) than a random order would. If I felt the desire to order the cats, my gut instinct would be to organize thematically. Blueboar (talk) 15:32, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • An arrangement for David Ben-Gurion clearly better than alphabetic:
Beyond alphabetic - David Ben-Gurion
  • Government ministers of Israel
  • Heads of the Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Histadrut General secretaries
  • Members of the Assembly of Representatives (Mandatory Palestine)
  • Members of the Knesset
  • Ministers of Defense of Israel
  • Prime Ministers of Israel


  • Cold War leaders
  • Israeli party leaders
  • Israeli political writers
  • Mapai politicians
  • National List politicians
  • Rafi (political party) politicians
  • Signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence


  • 1886 births
  • People from Płońsk County
  • Polish emigrants to Israel
  • Imperial Russian emigrants to the Ottoman Empire
  • Imperial Russian Jews
  • Bialik Prize recipients
  • Istanbul University Faculty of Law alumni
  • 1973 deaths
  • Burials in Israel


  • History of Israel
  • Israeli atheists
  • Israeli Jews
  • Jews in Mandatory Palestine
  • Jews in Ottoman Palestine
  • Jewish atheists
  • Jewish politicians
  • Jewish socialists
  • Jewish writers
  • Naturalized citizens of Israel
  • Polish Jews
  • Writers on Zionism
Paradoctor (talk) 19:24, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • And how is this sequence from Adolf Hitler sensible?
  • Austrian writers
  • Chancellors of Germany
  • Conspiracy theorists
  • Fascist rulers
  • Flag designers
Paradoctor (talk) 20:00, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Paradoctor: Because it's alphabetical and people know how to spell way before they can figure out complicated "themes" and "semantics". IZAK (talk) 23:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

That would be an argument if we left the readers to their own devices. In that case, alphasorting might indeed be marginally preferable to, say, the order in which the categories were added. But, as has been pointed out several times to you, even rather broad grouping beats alphabetic by a wide margin, and requiring alphabetic order would interfere with this. This kind of grouping gives the reader those themes and semantics exactly so they don't have to figure them out themselves. The Hawking example does this, and sorting it would completely destroy the assistance this arrangement provides to the reader. Paradoctor (talk) 10:43, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • An example of thematically sorted categories.
Here are the categories of the Stephen Hawking article in thematic groups

BLP and EGRS categories

Occupational categories (the stuff he is notable for)

Alma mater categories

Career categories

Professional memberships categories

Professional awards and honours categories

Civil honours categories

I added small text annotation to identify the theme of each group. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:14, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Good example. Blueboar (talk) 13:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Dodger67: @Blueboar: And who is now going to do this new job? Can't wait to see the arguments over placement of which categories in what order. A total waste of time and useless spinning of wheels when simple organization by alphabetization is in any case preferred by almost all Wikipedia users, just look around and see, just that the task has become too overwhelming and now needs technical help from a BOT since we live in the digital information age & cyber age whereby computer programs are designed to make our lives easier and we are not meant to fight the obvious. Life is complicated enough as it is, no reason to make it more so or settle for a chaotic work environment on WP. IZAK (talk) 23:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Who is going to do this new job? The editors who work on each individual article.
Remember that There is no deadline. Deciding how the categories should appear on the bottom of any specific article may not be a priority, but eventually someone will come along and do it... if only because each of these articles will get to a state where the only thing left to do are "tweaks" like putting the categories attached to the article in some sort of logical order.
One final thing... your state that "simple organization by alphabetization is in any case preferred by almost all Wikipedia users"... given what others have said here on this pump page (which is a good random sampling of users), I have to question that assertion. It seems that alphabetization is not actually preferred. At least not over thematic ordering. Blueboar (talk) 11:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
We also should be mindful of the different perspectives that people hold—both readers and editors. There can be disputes among editors over the seemingly most minor of things. "Thematic ordering" may not represent the best of organizing principles in this collaborative editing environment. Bus stop (talk) 11:59, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
True... I am not saying that "Thematic ordering" will always be best... just that sometimes it will be. "What is best" is a decision that should lie with the editors at each individual article, not a bot. If the choice of system becomes an issue, the editors can discuss that issue and reach a consensus on which system they think is best (for that specific article). As I have said, I have no problem with alphabetization - if that is the choice of the editors at the specific article. However, if the editors reach a consensus to use some other ordering system, they should be free to do so. A bot will not recognize situations where editorial consensus is to use some other system. Blueboar (talk) 12:22, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
And even if it did, what IZAK is asking is not giving the choice to use any ordering but alphabetical. "Bedlam" aka deferring to local consensus is already policy. Paradoctor (talk) 12:44, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Please give me an example in which "thematic ordering" is clearly preferable to an alphabetically ordered list of Categories. One need only glance over the twenty or so odd Categories to see ones that might be of interest. To make this even easier there could be an option of viewing the alphabetically organized Categories in a vertical stack. Just as we have a [show]/[hide] option we could have a [view vertically]/[view linearly] option. I think it is very easy to peruse entries when they are stacked vertically. Bus stop (talk) 14:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
The Hawking disorder
  • 1942 births
  • Academics of the University of Cambridge
  • Albert Einstein Medal recipients
  • Alumni of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
  • Alumni of University College, Oxford
  • Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
  • Cosmologists
  • English agnostics
  • English astronomers
  • English memoirists
  • English people with disabilities
  • English physicists
  • English science writers
  • Fellows of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
  • Fellows of the Royal Society
  • Living people
  • Lucasian Professors of Mathematics
  • Maxwell Medal and Prize recipients
  • Members of the American Philosophical Society
  • Members of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
  • Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour
  • Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
  • Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences
  • Mental calculators
  • People educated at St Albans High School for Girls
  • People educated at St Albans School, Hertfordshire
  • People from Oxford
  • People from St Albans
  • People with motor neurone disease
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
  • Recipients of the Copley Medal
  • Recipients of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Relativists
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Theoretical physicists
  • Wolf Prize in Physics laureates
Already done. The Sinatra and Hawking examples. If you wish, I will present a thematically ordered list for Sinatra. "Glancing" works only for articles with not too many categories, the Sinatra case is clearly a "searcher", not a "glancer". And let's not forget that not all our readers are quick readers. Thematic ordering helps skipping stuff.
Also, one might want to notice that of the Hitler categories, 1889 births comes first alphabetically. Compare this fact to [13] [14] [15]. With these numbers, Recipients should be presented before 1889 births. Even 1945 deaths edges it out. Paradoctor (talk) 16:58, 7 August 2014 (UTC)


  • Comment IZAK asked for my opinion here. I think his original proposal has a good point, and it is seen more clearly in typical examples with a medium number of categories. Looking at University of Florida, the first 8 categories are in alphabetical order; the last 3, which may have been added separately, are not. I do not think the ones in the alphabetic listing are at all confusing--the others are the ones that are confusing. Looking at Gainesville, Florida, the categories are at random. To see if an article is in a specific category would be easier if they were alphabetic.
But this mis-states the problem. They would be easier if they were in any logical consistent arrangement. By far the easiest one to accomplish is alphabetic, which is a very simple sort. Anything else is far more complicated. The arrangement above by [[User:Dodger67{|Dodger67{]] is a very good one, and better than plain alphabetic. I think many of us could probably find alternative equally good ones,(and, knowing Wikipedia, I expect elaborate discussion over just which one to adopt). But how would it be accomplished without manually coding every individual one of our categories into groups (and, knowing Wikipedia, dealing with the disputes about how to do so in specific cases) Looking just at BLPs I can think of algorithms for some groups (such as "born in" and "died in" before everything else. I can't think of many others--even "People from" is often a multiple, but perhaps it doesn't matter "Alumni" is also distinctive . But how we're going to pull out the occupational categories without listing every one, or separating the various awards, I do not know. And, as mentioned elsewhere non-BLPs are more difficult, though for organizations there could probably be a similar scheme; and for places we could put the purely geographic location categories first.
The question is whether it is worth the trouble. That of course depends if someone wants to do it. (I certainly don;t, and do those supporting it intend to volunteer?
I propose a hybrid solution:
  1. Sort all categories alphabetically programatically. Any further work on them will be easier if they are in a consistent order. Could be done in a few days, depending how fast the bot is permitted to go. (There would need periodical additional runs , of course)
  2. Gradually arrange the categories in a manner similar to that suggested, going by type of article, as those people who want to work on it. There would be a flag to indicate that this had been done, so the alphabetic bot would skip them. There would need to be followup work as people add categories or mess them up, but that's normal for any process. This would still fail the moment someone devised a new category. so there would be continuing maintenance. And continuing arguments. This step would go as fast or slow as people did the work, which probably means it would start off well, but never finish.
  3. Devise something better than the existing system of categories. This is the key step. I understand the potential for category intersection is available in MediaWiki. I think there are some practical difficulties, but I don't know details. We'd still have to sort the unit terms that would intersect, but the work would be much smaller. (deciding on the unit terms' may not be quite so simple.). There may also be other solutions than intersection, but I'm not immediately aware of any. Since as a librarian I do know a little information science, I'd be willing to work on something better. Personally, I think it's folly to spend any substantial time on the present system. DGG ( talk ) 16:23, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I took a look at the Featured and Good article criteria pages, neither even mentions categories, so I'm not convinced that the order of categories is really worth fretting about at all. WP:HotCat, which practically everybody except newbies uses, just puts them down in the order they are added anyway. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:03, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment After reviewing the comments and suggestions, I have to say that DGG's suggestion corresponds best to what I would have suggested on my own. IZAK's proposal to alphabetize works best on articles with fewer categories. As DGG points out, it's articles where the subject falls into a large number of categories where thematic grouping can be an extremely useful alternative to strict alphabetization. The examples from David Ben-Gurion to Frank Sinatra are typical of these exceptional cases. Alansohn (talk) 04:27, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

@DGG:@Dodger67:@Alansohn:: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment I can't help thinking this is a solution desperately searching for a problem. The orderly arrangement of categories is way down near the bottom of the list of things that need fixing on en:WP - we have far bigger fish to fry, so this whole thing looks a lot like "make-work" (keywords: deck-chairs, Titanic, iceberg). As I remarked earlier, the GA and FA criteria don't even mention categories at all. HotCat, the tool most used to add categories doesn't order them at all. Oh and don't forget that entropy always wins. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:21, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

OK, OK, the proposal is not gaining a lot of acceptance, and fine, but let's not get carried away. I think it is almost certainly true that alphabetizing categories is preferable to the categories being listed completely (or mostly) at random. Right? There are two reasons for this: 1) it imposes some sort of order that at least some readers might find useful, and 2) it will tend to increase the logical order somewhat compared to mere chaos -- all the "American such-and-such" will be grouped together and so on, which is an improvement over mere randomness.

Alphabetizing has advantages from production point of view -- it's much easier, so it could be done by a bot or an editor working quickly and mindlessly (as opposed to having to cogitate on the best logical or semantic order). It's not subject to error or opinion and removing those factors reduces time spend in argument. And it is true that ordering by semantics or logic means there will be some mistakes -- not everyone is good at that, while everybody can alphabetize correctly.

So it's not like it's a crazy idea. It's a reasonable idea. If most of our articles had categories in essentially random order (or in some unhelpful order like length of category name or whatever, or organized logically by a person who is very bad at logic) then a bot to alphabetize them would be a net improvement. However, I suppose that many articles are probably reasonably OK already. Herostratus (talk) 16:02, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

We should be aiming for a completely arbitrary method for organizing the layout of Categories at the bottom of an article, and all articles should employ the same arbitrary organizing principle. This is not an area that should have any human input at all, beyond agreeing from the outset, on the arbitrary method to be used. There is nothing special about alphabetization. Its only virtue for our purposes is that it is arbitrary. It should simply be a project-wide principle that the Categories at the bottom of all articles are organized alphabetically. Bus stop (talk) 21:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Why? Why is any arbitrary system (i.e., any system based on willful ignorance) better than a thoughtful one?
I saw one a while ago. The categories were something like Grammy Award-winning artists, Female rock singers, People from New York, and Breast cancer survivor. The breast cancer claim wasn't even mentioned in the article. In what intelligent system would you deliberately put the least important category first?
Contrary to the comment above, I think that alphabetizing short, easily managed cats is worse than alphabetizing long ones. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:48, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I see absolutely no logical reason for making Category:Articles created via the Article Wizard as the first listed category in many articles! Vegaswikian (talk) 23:23, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
We are not writing articles for a hypothetical average person. We do not know a hypothetical person's reason for using this encyclopedia. Our aim should be to provide knowledge for knowledge's sake. The body of an article is distinctly different from a collection of "Categories" at the bottom of an article. Categories are only names of boxes containing factors that articles have in common. We don't have to make editorial decisions concerning the order of importance of those boxes. We fundamentally don't know how a reader may choose to use Categories. It is presumptuous of us to think that we know which boxes (Categories) are most important to a given reader. We never let the number of boxes (Categories) grow so large that they cannot be perused visually without great difficulty. I don't think looking at 50 Categories is enormously problematic for most readers. The information conveyed by our Categories is supposed to be present in our articles, with sources provided. The Categories serve the purpose of showing other articles embodying similar factors. We do not know which of these factors is of greatest interest to a given reader. Are our editors really going to get bogged down in ordering Categories as we think is best? I don't think that most editors rearrange the order of Categories. Human input is definitely a part of creating Categories meaningfully. And human input is definitely a part of judiciously placing articles in only those Categories in which they belong. But we should stop at that point and allow an arbitrary system to array these Categories in a vertical display for easy perusal. The most familiar arbitrary system I know of is alphabetization. Bus stop (talk) 00:01, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
And being arbitrary is a key point. If one or more editors arrange categories in a particular order, since it makes sense, how can a bot change that to a different arbitrary arrangement? I prefer the human touch. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:09, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It should be arbitrary and all articles should conform to the same system. The information which is "Categories" is processed information. You say "one or more editors arrange categories in a particular order, since it makes sense". It makes sense to them. That is a problem. That is their bias. It is their fairy tale. Those "one or more editors" should not be trying to make sense of categorized information. It is not the same as information found in sources, from which we construct articles. We have already created those Categories. That information which is categories is processed information. The best analogy I can think of is taking Velveeta cheese and then trying to make an artisanal food product from it. It is foolhardy. It is best to handle information in a way appropriate to that information. We are no longer in the mode of writing an article when it comes to arraying a collection of Category boxes. Alphabetization is appropriate to the processed information that is Categories. Bus stop (talk) 00:34, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
"not the same as information found in sources" That is entirely incorrect. WP:CAT#Articles requires categories to be verifiable, just like any other claim in an article. Actually, the requirements are narrower than for prose statements, as the characteristic assigned by the category must be used "commonly and consistently" in the literature. Paradoctor (talk) 14:07, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
@Herostratus: You are missing the point of IZAK's proposal. If editors at some page decide to alphabetize their categories, that is entirely fine with the current guideline. What IZAK wants is to make alphabetical ordering mandatory across all of Wikipedia. That is the bone of contention.
"as opposed to having to cogitate on the best logical or semantic order" Face-surprise.svg Are you really proposing that we go down the path of least resistance? What kind of argument is that?!? Paradoctor (talk) 01:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It is not necessary to have the "best logical or semantic order" when placing Categories in a box at the bottom of an article and in fact it is better to avoid this imposition by the editor on the reader because there is an element of fiction to such ordering of Category boxes. The Categories themselves are already of our creation. We have in many cases already had lengthy discussions and debates about the existence of these Categories. And then we have in many cases had lively debates concerning whether or not an article warrants placement in that Category. These Categories are sometimes in a sense creations of Wikipedia editors. We should not be parlaying the results of a Categorization process into another form of article-writing. The proper (and only) place for article-writing is in the body of the article. That takes place in prose form. And that is directly supported by sources. Bus stop (talk) 01:44, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Your argument here sounds an awful lot like "Editors are too stupid to figure out the most salient and WP:DUE categories, so we should force them to never put the most relevant category first (except by accident)" with a side order of "Readers don't mind sorting through a disorganized mess". I'm not buying it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: First of all while the single most eponymous category -- meaning sure, it is acceptable that if a category matches an article's name exactly, it can be listed first, as the only exception, such that only if main article = main category 100% that a BOT could do as it alphabetizes all other categories on every page, but ALL other categories should be alphabetized for easy access. Note, editors are NOT "too stupid" it is just that READERS and end users are too busy in real life and do not have the time to go searching for needles in haystacks. But were they to see and know that WP uses the simplest of criteria to organize its categories, namely the alphabet, it makes WP categories that mush more user friendly and quicker to access than having categories remain diffused all over the place of organized into "thematic" clumps that only the creators of those "themes" are privy to their usefulness. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Herostratus:@Paradoctor: "What IZAK wants is to make alphabetical ordering mandatory across all of Wikipedia. That is the bone of contention." -- indeed, Bingo! IZAK (talk) 09:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

The difference between the cats on the page and the cat page

Someone (Izak, probably) said something above about it making sense to alphabetize the categories in an article, because articles are alphabetized on the cat pages.

This is not logical. Not everything is reciprocal. The fact that the telephone company has assigned me an account number does not mean that I need to assign them an account number. The fact that Category:X alphabetizes pages in Category:X does not mean that all pages need to alphabetize the categories on them.

Furthermore, it is not sensible. For some pages, it is clear to any reader that some categories are very important, and that others are relatively unimportant. Nobel Prize winners and US Presidents ought to have those categories listed prominently. People born in the same town or on the same date? It's just not that important. Someone might want to find that category, but 99% of readers just won't care.

Any category's importance to an article's subject can cover a wide range, from extremely important to barely relevant, but most pages listed in a category are going to have approximately the same relevance as the other pages in the category. The contents of "Grammy Award-winning artists" are approximately all equal to each others, but when you look at a biography, winning a Grammy may be far, far more important to the musician's history than the university she attended or the town he was born in or the exact year of her birth.

This fact is not specific to biographies. It is more important to get readers of Golden-crowned sparrow to the category for the genus Zonotrichia than to send them off to look at "Animals described in 1789". It is more important for Jeep to link to its eponymous category or to Category:Off-road vehicles than to link to "Auburn Hills, Michigan". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:49, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

  • @WhatamIdoing: You say 1 "Someone (Izak, probably) said something above about it making sense to alphabetize the categories in an article, because articles are alphabetized on the cat pages. This is not logical. Not everything is reciprocal." What is not logical about that? Not only are ALL categories organized alphabetically internally, but WP even provides the template {{DEFAULTSORT}} to make sure and ensure it happens! 2 "The fact that the telephone company has assigned me an account number does not mean that I need to assign them an account number." Wrong analogy and comparison. No one is assigning anyone anything if we stick to the alphabet which is the most common denominator for organization by anyone. It is those who are assigning "themes" and "semantics" to category names who are changing the established rules assumed by most people and are deciding to assign "order" in an esoteric away that is based on the way they prefer. 3 "The fact that Category:X alphabetizes pages in Category:X does not mean that all pages need to alphabetize the categories on them." Why not? Now that would be very logical! 4 "Furthermore, it is not sensible. For some pages, it is clear to any reader that some categories are very important, and that others are relatively unimportant. Nobel Prize winners and US Presidents ought to have those categories listed prominently. People born in the same town or on the same date? It's just not that important. Someone might want to find that category, but 99% of readers just won't care." The problem is what if you have ten "important" categories, who gets to decide which comes first? or second? or third? etc, it is a recipe that invites WP:BATTLEGROUND& WP:WAR reactions. Someone from Ohio will feel that coming from that state is more important than being a congressman etc. 5 "Any category's importance to an article's subject can cover a wide range, from extremely important to barely relevant, but most pages listed in a category are going to have approximately the same relevance as the other pages in the category. The contents of "Grammy Award-winning artists" are approximately all equal to each others, but when you look at a biography, winning a Grammy may be far, far more important to the musician's history than the university she attended or the town he was born in or the exact year of her birth." Again, who is going to decide all this? Since every user and reader may have a different set of values and criteria for what they deem to be important. 6 "This fact is not specific to biographies. It is more important to get readers of Golden-crowned sparrow to the category for the genus Zonotrichia than to send them off to look at "Animals described in 1789". It is more important for Jeep to link to its eponymous category or to Category:Off-road vehicles than to link to "Auburn Hills, Michigan"." While this sounds nice, and I can agree with ONE eponymous article having its mirror-image named category being at the top of a list of categories as many articles with fully alphabetized categories in fact do it, with main article=main category, just as every category with a basically eponymous matching article has a {{main}} template at the top to link that category with its main article. But categories are NOT like articles, they do NOT require "WP:LEDES" to be useful. On the contrary, different human beings value different things and would obviously prefer to have what they value get top billing over others' preferences. And that is precisely what happens when grouping categories by "theme" which is essentially what almost all users avoid if you look across the length and breadth of Wikipedia's millions of articles. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:40, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
What is not logical about that?
As explained repeatedly, it ignores real-life usage. Readers often view categories to find articles whose inclusion they anticipate, so alphabetization (with some tweaking to account for titular deviations) is helpful. The likelihood of someone seeking Frank Nabarro at Category:People educated at Nottingham High School far exceeds the likelihood of someone seeking Category:People educated at Nottingham High School at Frank Nabarro.
The problem is what if you have ten "important" categories, who gets to decide which comes first? or second? or third?
The article's editors. You know, like a wiki.
it is a recipe that invites WP:BATTLEGROUND& WP:WAR reactions.
Can you cite actual examples of this occurring, or do you still maintain that uniform alphabetization of categories is used at Wikipedia "almost universally"?
Someone from Ohio will feel that coming from that state is more important than being a congressman etc.
You give Wikipedia's editors very little credit. —David Levy 18:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Articles may be alphabetically sorted in categories by default, but it's simple enough to override this. Don't give us an edit-warring bot that thinks Category:Roads in X County, Y state is more important than Category:State highways in Y state. --NE2 09:57, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

  • @NE2: Thanks for your comments, but they appear to be self-contradictory, while you say that "Articles may be alphabetically sorted in categories by default, but it's simple enough to override this." Okay that's great since a BOT would be perfect for this task! but you also say that "Don't give us an edit-warring bot that thinks Category:Roads in X County, Y state is more important than Category:State highways in Y state." (You know you just made those fake categs up for this argument.) That just does not have to be so! Most cases are not like this, as can be proven by the majority of Wikipedians' attempts to organize all categories alphabetically, albeit imperfectly in many instances. For example everyone accepts alphabetizing in books that have both a Back-of-the-book index and a bibliography, it's also the way any dictionary and encyclopedia is organized in alphabetic order! Take a tour for yourself all over WP and see for yourself. A BOT would not create any issues of "edit warring" whatsoever. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 10:54, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
    • A bot would certainly edit war with someone who tries to revert it. I've seen it happen before. PS: no, I didn't make up the categories. Peep and weep. --NE2 23:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
      • @NE2: Please see the updated #Compromise proposal section below by User Paradoctor (talk · contribs) where we have made quantum leaps of progress and have arrived at a workable solution and hence hopefully agreement that will benefit Wikipedia and all its editors, users and readers, and will supply us with the kind of workable functions we wish to see in categories. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Collation: alphabetical order & numerical order

IZAK's position more in depth:

"Alphabetical order is the basis for many systems of collation where items of information are identified by strings consisting principally of letters from an alphabet. The ordering of the strings relies on the existence of a standard ordering for the letters of the alphabet in question.

To decide which of two strings comes first in alphabetical order, initially their first letters are compared. The string whose first letter appears earlier in the alphabet comes first in alphabetical order. If the first letters are the same, then the second letters are compared, and so on, until the order is decided. (If one string runs out of letters to compare, then it is deemed to come first; for example, "cart" comes before "carthorse".) The result of arranging a set of strings in alphabetical order is that words with the same first letter are grouped together, and within such a group words with the same first two letters are grouped together and so on.

Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. Many systems of collation are based on numerical order or alphabetical order, or extensions and combinations thereof. Collation is a fundamental element of most office filing systems, library catalogs and reference books.

Collation differs from classification in that classification is concerned with arranging information into logical categories, while collation is concerned with the ordering of items of information, usually based on the form of their identifiers. Formally speaking, a collation method typically defines a total order on a set of possible identifiers, called sort keys, which consequently produces a total preorder on the set of items of information (items with the same identifier are not placed in any defined order).

The main advantage of collation is that it makes it fast and easy for a user to find an element in the list, or to confirm that it is absent from the list. In automatic systems this can be done using a binary search algorithm or interpolation search; manual searching may be performed using a roughly similar procedure, though this will often be done unconsciously. Other advantages are that one can easily find the first or last elements on the list (most likely to be useful in the case of numerically sorted data), or elements in a given range (useful again in the case of numerical data, and also with alphabetically ordered data when one may be sure of only the first few letters of the sought item or items).

Numerical and chronological order

Strings representing numbers may be sorted based on the values of the numbers that they represent...A similar approach may be taken with strings representing dates or other items that can be ordered chronologically or in some other natural fashion.

Automated collation

When information is stored in digital systems, collation may become an automated process. It is then necessary to implement an appropriate collation algorithm that allows the information to be sorted in a satisfactory manner for the application in question. Often the aim will be to achieve an alphabetical or numerical ordering that follows the standard criteria as described in the preceding sections. However, not all of these criteria are easy to automate.

The simplest kind of automated collation is based on the numerical codes of the symbols in a character set, such as ASCII coding (or any of its supersets such as Unicode), with the symbols being ordered in increasing numerical order of their codes, and this ordering being extended to strings in accordance with the basic principles of alphabetical ordering (mathematically speaking, lexicographical ordering). So a computer program might treat the characters a, b, C, d and $ as being ordered $, C, a, b, d (the corresponding ASCII codes are $ = 36, a = 97, b = 98, C = 67, and d = 100). Therefore strings beginning with C (or any other capital letter) would be sorted before strings with lower-case a, b, etc. This is sometimes called ASCIIbetical order.

...It is therefore often applied with certain refinements, the most obvious being the conversion of capitals to lowercase before comparing ASCII values."

Thank you, IZAK (talk) 11:19, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

You forgot to discuss the advantages of trees, which is what grouping amounts to. Face-wink.svg More to the point, this made me realize that this "sorting vs. grouping" is a battle between apples and oranges. Sorting is good when you already know the name of what you are looking for. Grouping is better at finding articles by thematical relation, or simply finding out the name of the category you want, and we can put more useful categories first. See below for more. Paradoctor (talk) 14:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Well said, and with far less text than the OP. postdlf (talk) 15:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Paradoctor: Wow, thanks, I really think you are on to something here. Personally I have always found {{Category tree}} & {{Category tree all}} (click on those to see how they work alphabetically!) highly useful and I have even deployed the former on Category pages from time to time. Let's keep thinking, and working, and solving along these lines. I like it! IZAK (talk) 18:29, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Compromise proposal

Discussing this proposal, I realized that pretty much all of the debate rests on the assumption that this is an either/or situation. Which does not seem to be the case. It should not be too hard to whip up a couple of templates and/or an ECMAScript gadget that provides the ability to switch between sorted and grouped display, and to set one's preferences. One can set defaults Wikipedia-wide, for individual articles, and for articles in this or that category. So, yes, we can have our cake and eat it. This would it also make that much easier to offer more display options for categories, like inline vs. vertical list vs. sectioned list vs. grid. Are there any reasons we should not do that? Paradoctor (talk) 14:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good, if it can be easily done. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:09, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Or to put it another way, toggling between alphabetical sorting and sorting by the editor-determined order the tags appear in the article markup. I don't see a problem with that, except to the extent it would be a waste of time to implement given (as has been explained ad nauseum above) how little value alphabetization of categories contributes. postdlf (talk) 16:31, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
"Easily" is of course subjective, but I see no blocking concerns. The actual functionality is simple HTML+CSS+ECMAScript stuff, no worries here. Most of the work would be finding out how to integrate it into the surrounding software ecotope, and addressing compatibility and usability issues. Lots of hair, but no Gordian hairball, if you get my drift. Much less complex than HotCat, and I know where to find the source for that. Face-wink.svg
"waste of time" Compared to the amount of time already spent discussing this, implementing the sort functionality part will be insignificant, I assure you. Face-grin.svg Paradoctor (talk) 16:51, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
What does "sorted" mean? What does "grouped" mean? Bus stop (talk) 16:49, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand your question. Surely you know the meaning of "sorted" and "grouped"? Examples of sorted and grouped lists have already been provided above, did you overlook them? Paradoctor (talk) 16:53, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Paradoctor—you refer to "sorted", but "sorted" is meaningless. "Sorted" is no more meaningful than "arbitrary". Can we please discuss "Categories"? What are they? Categories are boxes that contain factors that articles have in common. That is all that they are. Categories do not say something about the topic of an article at which they are found, except of course that a factor found at this article is also found at the other articles contained in that Category-box. Rearranging these boxes is like rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic in that doing so is pointless. Nothing can be accomplished by a so-called "thematic" arrangement of Categories. The "theme" is the commonality of articles vis-a-vis a given factor. A reader uses Categories as they see fit, and there are as many uses for Categories as there are readers. We are not in the business of spoon-feeding pseudo-information to readers. You are not at liberty to extract "themes" as you see fit. We provide information. We don't provide guidance on what to do with that information. Consider for a moment our article on Adolf Hitler. There are many Categories at the bottom of that article. The only one that deserves primacy is the Category:Adolf Hitler. The importance of all other Categories are determined by what a given reader is looking for. We don't determine a reader's interests. We should not suggest to a reader what they should be interested in. That is why "thematic sorting" is fundamentally wrong. As an encyclopedia we do not ever direct a reader's interests. We only supply the readers with good quality information. To the greatest extent possible we are unbiased. You are arguing to re-add bias back into the article. A researcher interested in Category:20th-century Austrian painters does not necessarily have to have it suggested to them that they really should be interested in Category:Holocaust perpetrators. This is where we should be taking a hands-off approach. We are suppliers of information to be used in any way a reader sees fit. Bus stop (talk) 16:55, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
"we do not ever direct a reader's interests" Nobody is suggesting we do that. What we're looking to do is facilitate finding what the reader is interested in. Since different readers have different interests, we have to compromise. Arranging categories in some fashion is a tool to improve upon random placement. Which arrangement is best is determined by how much effort the readers have to spend to find what they're interested in. Category:Holocaust perpetrators has about four times as much traffic as Category:20th-century Austrian painters, which makes a clear case for putting the former before the latter on the unavoidable search path. Depending on the situation, a well-constructed presentation can greatly reduce the time spent on looking up things. See optimum binary search tree for more information.
"That is why "thematic sorting" is fundamentally wrong." If you want to propose forbidding it, please make a proposal of your own. In this section, this is off-topic. I only want to know whether there is something that speaks against implementing my proposal. To the best of my knowledge, it is fully compliant with current policy, so discussion is expected to mostly revolve around practical issues. Paradoctor (talk) 18:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Paradoctor: Mostly (very mostly) agree, just please try to explain a bit more to us non-technical folks what you are saying so we can be absolutely sure. Thanks. I assume by "sorted display" you presumably mean "alphabetical display" of categories (either horizontal or vertical, although I think that vertical [up-down] individuates each category and makes it easier on the eye to spot and read and comprehend) as happens when clicking on either of {{Category tree}} & {{Category tree all}}) -- but while one can see the ease of creating a mechanism that will facilitate an option to sort categories alphabetically (which contrary to assertion @Postdlf: It has a LOT of value!), the question remains though how to set up criteria for "groupings" within that would be universally applicable to any and all categories, and who determines how to create such "groupings" by theme of "meaning/semantics" given the huge range of options and variances between so many fields and topics? But hey, at this rate you are about to earn some serious awards given the amazing quantum leaps you are helping us out with here! Over-all this is the kind of progress I was in search of that is really at bottom an attempt to plug a big hole in the way categories are working, or more accurately are being neglected and not working, compared to so many other features on WP that have been upgraded and streamlined over the years. So, THANKS SO MUCH! Love ya, IZAK (talk) 18:48, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

"please try to explain a bit more" By all means, if my rambling becomes incoherent again, sling as much fish as you consider adequate.
""sorted display" you presumably mean "alphabetical display"" Yes, though it is a snap to add more sort criteria.
"how to set up criteria for "groupings" within that would be universally applicable" That's the beauty of it: We don't need to decide. What makes you think there can be such universal criteria, anyway? Presumably, categories on Category:living people articles would be grouped differently from, say, categories on Category:cities articles. If the set of categories on an article is sufficiently large, I can easily imagine that it could be sensibly grouped in three different ways. Which is not a problem. We just offer them all to the reader.
Arranging categories is to a great a degree uncharted area, so I think WP:CATDEF's refusal to proscribe an arrangement makes sense. I expect to people will experiment, and feedback will determine which arrangements work and which ones will fade into edit history.
"THANKS SO MUCH" You can show me your gratitude later, in my private chambers. Face-tongue.svg Paradoctor (talk) 19:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thanks again! I do not see people objecting, so would it be possible for you to start the process so that we can see the solution in action? I am really looking forward! Sincerely, IZAK (talk) 08:51, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
@IZAK: I have already begun. With a little luck, I have something to play with by Monday evening. Paradoctor (talk) 13:49, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • On the fence I like the idea so long as the default is Wikipedia's sorting. The reason I am on the fence is that I see potential performance issues and technical conflicts which would sway my view on the subject. I'd be open to seeing a test script/template/etc but would request a re-vote before it's implemented widely. Finding edge cases/unusual categories would be a good place to start to ensure proper development. JMJimmy (talk) 09:28, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
"default is Wikipedia's sorting" Absolutely.
"potential performance issues and technical conflicts" I can't imagine there could be dealbreakers, but would appreciate it if you could point out specific issues.
"before it's implemented widely" Face-grin.svg It's going to start life as a user script, and I aim for producing an opt-in gadget. If it turns out popular enough, it would make sense to merge it with HotCat, but that is something that can be discussed if and when the issue arises.
"edge cases/unusual categories" I'm not sure that is relevant. The script would not analyze the categories, it simply pulls grouping and sorting information from the the article, and then displays the categories the way the user want to see them. Paradoctor (talk) 13:54, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not clear that it will be 100% scripted, there's mention of templating which, due to the nature of categories in the code/db the wrong kind of template could put significant stain on resources. If pulling category data (like number of visits) every time the page loads/is refreshed/etc could cause a fair amount of extra traffic to deal with (again, depends on how lean the code is or if this is within the scope of what you're talking about). On the scripting end, the DOM navigation/manipulation might be problematic due to the HTML for categories, it may be too much processing/re-rendering on larger pages and/or a large number of categories. Fringe categories like "¡All-Time Quarterback! compilation albums" "Æon Flux" come to mind (both break in UTF-8 and JSON encode/decode) - not really sure what your idea is from a technical standpoint so it's hard to judge what exactly to look at. These are just some of the things that immediately came to mind reading the brief description at the start of this section. JMJimmy (talk) 16:28, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
"templating" The templates to be used here merely format descriptions of category arrangements, nothing complicated. And WP:PERFORMANCE is generally not much of an objection, there is always a way of doing it that doesn't precipitate our Downfall.
"pulling category data" Doing that on each page load might be a problem. But let's not cross that bridge before it's built. Right now, I'm not aware that any algorithm even exists that would produce useful results, so there is no need to worry about implementation.
"DOM navigation/manipulation" We're talking about milliseconds here, don't worry. Besides, that is something I would notice long before it gets released.
"break in UTF-8 and JSON" Huh? Javascript can handle UTF-8 just fine, and JSON is not even involved here. Collation may introduce some hair, but that can be handled.
If you have further technical concerns, I suggest we continue discussion at User talk:Paradoctor/CatVisor. Here, I'm interested in possible problems with policy I'm not aware of, and objections for other reasons, these are the unknown unknowns that tend to blindside you. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 01:49, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
As I say, it's hard to know without a full description. Wiki may have people who deal with performance but that doesn't mean they get it right all the time. By example I just tested the United States page and it took 26.72 seconds to trigger the onload event. I refreshed, getting 1.3mb of 1.4 mb from cache, it still took 11.21 seconds to trigger onload. Adding on DOM manipulation/traversal to a document with over 2000 nodes and the re-renders that come with that manipulation... it could get very heavy very fast on the users side given the existing slowness. It's not clear whether you'll be pulling additional data or not (for sorting by popularity, or parent categories, etc) JMJimmy (talk) 11:01, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
"tested the United States" You make me giggle. My old, well-worn laptop did it in ~10 seconds, 8.5 for reload, and my connection is rather pedestrian by today's standards. You need to upgrade, my friend. Face-grin.svg
Really, this is all WP:CRYSTALBALL stuff. Should permance issues arise, they will experience extreme prejudice, rest assured. Paradoctor (talk) 17:56, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor:, @JMJimmy: The error that both of you are making is opting for the default being Wikipedia's sorting. This should not be the default. In fact this should not even be permitted. Editors should not be tinkering with the order in which Categories appear at the bottom of an article. The only exception to this, is in the case in which there is a Category with the exact name as the article. Thus at the article Adolf Hitler, the Category Adolf Hitler should appear at the top of the list of Categories. But that is where we run out of reasons for tinkering, on an article-by-article basis, with the order in which Categories appear at the bottom of an article. We are not, or should not be, directing the consumption of knowledge. This is solely the province of the reader. Categories are navigational tools. "Categories allow readers to navigate through Wikipedia and find related articles." The reader needs only to know the system(s) that we use at Wikipedia for determining the order in which Categories appear. More than one system, or "view", can be available to the reader, though I personally don't see the importance of this. The system(s) should be automatic and consistent project-wide. A simple sentence above the Category collection can inform the reader as to the system(s) in place. Alphabetical order is just one such system. Another system would order Categories by the amount of traffic they receive. This would be more complicated to implement but I think it should be perfectly acceptable to all. If two systems are used, a reader should be able to toggle between them, or somehow set a default for one or the other. This should be mindless. Essentially, once this is set up, there should be no more editorial reordering of Categories on an article-by-article basis. Bus stop (talk) 12:04, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: Adding options that have no effect unless the user wants it to have an effect is never a bad thing. It's also not going to be added wiki wide just cause one or two of us want or don't want it. It won't go into wide spread use unless there's significant acceptance of it. Besides, some of it already exists like the CategoryTree extension. Also, the page you link... did you know there are 17 hidden categories already being influenced? It's also very rare for categories to be sorted in any meaningful way, it's usually just first come first serve. JMJimmy (talk) 14:22, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: There is no preferred order for Categories. The correct order in which Categories should be presented is the order which follows a rule which the reader understands. Notice the amount of explanation that is accompanying the "thematic" ordering of the Categories for Stephen Hawking on this page. @Dodger67: notes (on this page) "I added small text annotation to identify the theme of each group." Please look at those "small text annotation[s]":
  1. "BLP and EGRS categories"
  2. "Occupational categories (the stuff he is notable for)"
  3. "Alma mater catégories"
  4. "Career categories"
  5. "Professional memberships categories"
  6. "Professional awards and honours categories"
  7. "Civil honours categories"
It takes too much thinking for a reader to quickly grasp how the "Stephen Hawking" Categories are organized. The reader presumably has in mind their own inchoate "themes". I think that editorially presented "themes" would be only an encumbrance. Categories should be organized by a simple scheme, such as alphabetization, that applies project-wide. This can easily be conveyed to a reader in a short sentence above every collection of Categories. The identical sentence should be found at every article, explaining to the reader the scheme governing the order of presentation of Categories. I think that alphabetization is by far the easiest to implement and the easiest to understand. Bus stop (talk) 08:42, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: consensus disagreed with you. JMJimmy (talk) 16:06, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Pong: "sorting. This should not be the default" Just for the hell of it: How do we not order the categories when displaying them? Even arranging them in a circle around the article involves an ordering. Tell me what you think should be done, and I'll add it to CatVisor. Paradoctor (talk) 18:08, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

@Paradoctor:—you bring up an ordering scheme that is just as acceptable as alphabetization. I find it perfectly acceptable but I doubt that a computer program, bot, Javascript, or any other means could result in an ordering of Categories by the amount of traffic received. This is the problem. You say: "Arranging categories in some fashion is a tool to improve upon random placement. Which arrangement is best is determined by how much effort the readers have to spend to find what they're interested in. Category:Holocaust perpetrators has about four times as much traffic as Category:20th-century Austrian painters, which makes a clear case for putting the former before the latter on the unavoidable search path." The idea of ordering Categories by the amount of traffic they receive is a great idea. But I don't think you are suggesting that. Nor do I think that is practicable. Nor do I think that is warranted given the enormous difficulty in writing a program to accomplish that. But if it were possible, I would enthusiastically support this scheme. I couldn't even write a program to order Categories alphabetically. But I think that writing a program to order Categories according to the amount of traffic they receive, from greatest traffic to least traffic, would be much more difficult. But again I don't think you are suggesting that Categories be automatically sorted by some sort of computer program according to the amount of traffic received. I am not dedicated to alphabetization as the only acceptable, computer-determined, automatic system for arranging the Categories at the bottom of an article. But I am opposed to editorial tinkering in what is supposed to be a navigation device, in place solely for the reader's use. We, as editors, can make our job much easier if we leave the ordering of Categories to some sort of program. And we would be making our product much more consistent if it were free from article-by-article tinkering by editors in what some are defending as "thematic ordering". All articles should be following the same ordering scheme project-wide as pertains to Categories, and this should happen automatically. The reader should simply be apprised in a brief but explicit sentence near the listing of Categories as to the system we are using for ordering Categories. Bus stop (talk) 12:35, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

There are already external tools that do that sort of thing, not that exact thing, but computationally similar. It's not as complicated as you think here's an example from a page you recently edited: https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools/articleinfo/index.php?article=List_of_art_movements&lang=en&wiki=wikipedia grabs the data and parses/computes/graphs/etc in seconds. This is the type of thing that is theoretically possible, it's just a matter of how lean you can make it to have as little impact on the server as possible (esp important for this issue due to virtually every page having a category) JMJimmy (talk) 12:57, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
"ordering scheme" This is off-topic in this section. CatVisor is about offering options. The decision which one to use is left to the user. Even editors don't really need to argue about that. If some editors think ordering A is the shit, they can put the corresponding order template on the article, and the ordering appears among the available display options for the user. If some other editors think A is the pits, while B will usher in a golden age, they can do exactly the same for B. No need to get into each other's hair.
"reader should simply be apprised in a brief but explicit sentence" Added to the feature list. Paradoctor (talk) 14:10, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I support this gadget idea. It allows alphabetical viewing while continuing the use of a rough category relevancy hierarchy on articles (as I do currently). If I've understood Bus stop's idea correctly, this presupposes that it is possible to have an automatic sorting, with every category having a hierarchical value in relation to every other category in the system. If Stephen Wolfram can't get close to this kind of programmatic relational knowledge system, then a laymen's volunteer network like Wikipedia will surely flouder! Ordering by traffic on the other hand would actually be trivial, though fundamentally flawed as a popular category may be of high relevance to one subject, but a minor aspect of another. Programs will never stop "editor tinkering", at best they can only amplify certain editor's tinkerings over other's preferences. SFB 13:01, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy:—can you please explain explicitly what you mean by "I like the idea so long as the default is Wikipedia's sorting"?[16] Thanks. Bus stop (talk) 14:55, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Default (computer science) HTH Paradoctor (talk) 15:23, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi @Paradoctor: I'm not surprised by the way in which "default" is used in computer science, but thanks for that link. I didn't know it had a technical usage. But what I was really looking for was an explanation of "Wikipedia's sorting". Bus stop (talk) 15:41, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: I mean that the average user, taking no action, will not see any change from the current norm. Sorting will only take place if the user specifically requests it (applies chosen sorting one time) or sets a new default (applies chosen sorting all the time) JMJimmy (talk) 15:38, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: Can you please describe "the current norm" in your own words? I wasn't aware until about 96 hours ago that there was any system in place governing the order in which Categories are arrayed in the box at the bottom of all articles. I simply never thought about it. I don't know how many other editors gave it any thought. Bus stop (talk) 15:52, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: The current norm is that the first category listed (top to bottom) when editing is the first category to appear (left to right) JMJimmy (talk) 16:28, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

I just want to make sure I understand how CatVisor works... It makes it possible for individual users to choose how they want the cats to appear on their computer screens. If user X wants to see the cats at the bottom of pages in alphabetical order, he can click on a button and see them in alphabetical order... meanwhile... and at the same time... if user Y wants to see them in (say) grouped order, she simply clicks a different button and sees them in that grouped order. What X sees has no connection to what Y sees. Yes? (If so... I heartily support). Blueboar (talk) 11:35, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

@Blueboar: You refer to a "grouped order". I actually have not seen this. Can you point me to an article at which we find a "grouped order"? Bus stop (talk) 12:08, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure... look at how the cats are listed at our Stephen Hawking article (to understand the groups, see Dodger's breakdown above... it's in the box marked: "Here are the categories of the Stephen Hawking article in thematic groups"). If I correctly understand how CatVisor is supposed to work, Editor X could choose to see these rearranged in alphabetical order, but Editor Y could choose see them in the current grouped order. And Editor Z might choose to see them in some other order entirely. The order that X sees on his computer screen will be different from the order that Y or Z sees. Yes? Blueboar (talk) 12:43, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: Grouping Categories "thematically" is treating Categories as information. Categories are not information. Categories are navigational tools to be used by a reader. The way in which we empower a reader to use Categories is to tell them how Wikipedia project-wide orders its Categories. We accomplish that very easily with a sentence in the box in which the Categories appear. No reader should be burdened by article-by-article "thematic" ordering of Categories, however well-meaning an editor's efforts are in this regard. Wikipedia should have a consistent product as concerns the way in which it orders its Categories. This can be alphabetic. This can employ other schemes. A good one that has been suggested relies on the amount of traffic a Category receives, with the most trafficked Categories appearing first. It is possible that other schemes can be arrived at. This is not a big deal. Alphabetic ordering is simple to implement. A reader interested in a topic can easily peruse 30 or 40 or 50 Categories. One way to make this easier is to simply arrange Categories in vertical columns. There is a limitation as to how easy we can make truly creative encyclopedia use. No matter what we do, the reader has to expend the energy to read the Category names. The reader must be pursuing an area of inquiry about which they are truly motivated. Our editors should write the articles. The articles should contain good quality information and they should be written well. Our computer software should take care of arranging the order of the Categories. Bus stop (talk) 23:55, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: "What X sees has no connection to what Y sees. Yes?" Yes, that's exactly right. Opt-in separation of concerns, I don't think it can be made more unobtrusive without violating Noether's theorem. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 18:28, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Then I heartily approve. If the writing editors reach a consensus to order the cats thematically, but a reading editor wants to view them alphabetically... they can. Everybody wins. Not sure if it would work going the other way (where the writers have ordered alphabetically, but the reader wants to view it thematically... how would a bot know what themes apply?)... but that isn't a major concern. Blueboar (talk) 12:06, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: "Not sure if it would work going the other way" Not a problem. Editors can use a template which is invisible to the reader, but contains data that the script can use to construct various views of the page's category set. This makes the ordering that is used in the wikisource completely irrelevant to CatVisor users. Paradoctor (talk) 17:33, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: What is a "reading editor"? Some people don't "edit" Wikipedia. For the purposes of this discussion, can't we speak of "editors" and "readers"? You say "If the writing editors reach a consensus to order the cats thematically, but a reading editor wants to view them alphabetically... they can." I am concerned with those readers who do not edit Wikipedia. I am concerned that they understand how Categories are ordered on Wikipedia in general and/or at the article they are reading at that moment. I am concerned with a hypothetical person who is using the Internet and who lands at a Wikipedia article. What assumptions can they have about how Categories are ordered and how can they receive their understandings of how Categories are ordered? Bus stop (talk) 13:22, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry... I meant readers ... some readers will find an alphabetical order helpful in navigating to cats... others will find a thematic order helpful in navigating to cats (I know I certainly do). CatVisor would give each reader the choice of viewing the cats in whichever order he/she thinks is most helpful to him/her. I am completely in favor of giving both readers and writers choices, and letting them decide what they think is best for themselves. Blueboar (talk) 13:35, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: You say "others will find a thematic order helpful in navigating to cats (I know I certainly do)." Can you give me another example of an article which displays this "thematic order" concerning Categories? (You have already mentioned the Stephen Hawking article.) Bus stop (talk) 13:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure... as it happens, a few days ago this discussion inspired me to put the cats at the Dean Martin article into a rough thematic order. FYI... The themes are: 1- a few general bio cats, 2- Cats relating to causes of death, 2 - Cats relating to singers and musicians, 3- Cats relating to actors, 4 - other Cats that didn't fit into any of the previous themes. I think it makes sense to lump cats related to singers together, cats related to actors together, and cats related to cause of death together. This way readers who came to the Martin article because they are interested in his singing career (for example), and now want to navigate to other singer related articles will find a bunch of singer related cats, helpfully place all in a row at the bottom of the page. Blueboar (talk) 14:34, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: Categories are navigational tools. Why should the reader have to know about any "themes" that you feel that you have detected in navigational tools? Are you going to communicate to the reader the "themes" which you feel apply to the collection of Categories found at this article? You write that "The themes are: 1- a few general bio cats, 2- Cats relating to causes of death, 2 - Cats relating to singers and musicians, 3- Cats relating to actors, 4 - other Cats that didn't fit into any of the previous themes." Is the reader apprised of this, or is this tinkering with the order of Categories supposed to take place unbeknownst to the reader? Bus stop (talk) 14:57, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
The reader doesn't really need to know what the specific themes are ... a reader will never the less find it helpful to find cats that relate to similar topics listed together. Lets say I am reading the Dean Martin article because I am interested in actors... At some point I might want to navigate to other articles on other actors... finding all the listed cats that relate to actors and acting lumped together allows me to start my navigation easily. I don't have to search through a bunch of cats that don't relate to actors and acting (and thus don't interest me) to find the cats I am interested in exploring Furthermore, lumping all the actor related cats together makes it less likely that I will inadvertantly skip over the one that might interest me the most). The key here is that the cats are not thematically ordered to give information about the subject... they are thematically ordered to make navigation to categories easier, by listing similar categories next to each other. Blueboar (talk) 15:30, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: You say "how would a bot know what themes apply" - CatVisor won't be a bot. It's a script, activated on demand by the reader to reorganise the display of the list of cats. It won't edit the actual page source. This means that other readers will be unaffected by your preferred display order and layout. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:46, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: You are making presuppositions. You are saying "Lets say I am reading the Dean Martin article because I am interested in actors". In fact you do not know why the reader is "reading the Dean Martin article". Furthermore the reader is not told of your "thematic" analysis in your proposal for Category ordering. You are saying "The reader doesn't really need to know...". Alphabetization by contrast is an organizational scheme that is easily communicated to everyone and therefore "transparent". From Wikipedia: "Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed." I'd say we should not be tinkering with the ordering of the navigational tools without informing the reader about this. Bus stop (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what the reader is interested in... the fact that similar cats are lumped together will aid navigation, no matter what the reader is looking for.
OK... let's run a simple experiment... I just thematically ordered the cats on the John F. Kennedy article. This time, I am not going to tell people what the themes are ahead of time (I think you will figure it out). Read the article without looking at the cats first (as a reader would do), and then pick something (anything) that sparked your interest. Now try to find the categories that relate to that interest. Then revert my edit back to an alphabetical listing... pick something else that sparked your interest and try to find the related cats. Which was easier? Which helped you to navigate to the cats that interested you?Blueboar (talk) 16:50, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Go to the John F. Kennedy article, start reading it, and when you find something that sparks your interest try to find all the cats that relate to that interest. Not easy, right? Now... go to this version of the article (which I have self-reverted), and try to find all the cats that relate to your interest. Which version was easier to navigate? Blueboar (talk) 17:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: A reader is not allowed any insight into your reasoning concerning thematization. I favor preventing any editorial input into the ordering of Categories beyond setting up the software to do that. This is an area of the project that should be carried out by the software of the project. The governing principle of the organization and ordering of Categories should be consistent across the project and should be clearly and simply communicated to the reader. The most obvious governing principle is alphabetization. But other possibilities exist. Most importantly we should move away from article-by-article tinkering. There is no transparency in this. The reader should understand whatever scheme is in place governing the ordering of Categories. Bus stop (talk) 17:15, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
There doesn't need to be transparency because the default is wiki's style. It's not changing the ordering in the article, it's changing the display to the individual user preference. The ordering remains intact otherwise. Anyone can currently do this type of modification on ANY webpage anywhere on the internet with a simple Greasemonkey script - you're really discussing a problem that doesn't exist. JMJimmy (talk) 17:39, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: What is "wiki's style"? Wouldn't "wiki's style" include "thematic ordering" of Categories? Bus stop (talk) 17:47, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop:No, at least not that I'm aware of, it only includes consensus ordering. I can think of no policies or guidelines for the ordering of categories within an article. JMJimmy (talk) 17:54, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@JMJimmy: As you said up above on this page "It's also very rare for categories to be sorted in any meaningful way, it's usually just first come first serve."[17] This is the problem in a nutshell. Categories are either arrayed without rhyme or reason, or they are arrayed in what an editor might genuinely believe is a thematic order. Why not tell the reader the governing principle behind ordering Categories (for instance alphabetization) and have software automatically order Categories that way? This could be done project-wide. And this could easily be communicated to every reader with no ambiguity. Bus stop (talk) 18:10, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: Yes, I want the consensus method to be the default, what do I care if someone wants to override that local to their settings only (just like adding an extension or greasemonkey script or any of the settings already in "preferences". Initially the talk was about creating a bot to change it globally, that I opposed, this has no effect on your typical user or anyone not logged in so it's of no impact. My only remaining concerns are performance and are rather minimal. JMJimmy (talk) 18:58, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
WP:CATDEF "The order in which categories are placed on a page is not governed by any single rule" Paradoctor (talk) 17:59, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
This means that there is community-wide consensus that no single rule has global consensus, so category order is determined by local consensus. Paradoctor (talk) 18:05, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Bus stop: I asked you before, how can we not order the categories? What you fail to realize is that alphasorting introduces its own bias, and is guaranteed to make navigation harder than other arrangements. Also, you are in error if you believe that alphabetical order is the simplest. Besides being biased towards languages with (more or less) phonetical alphabets, it requires more from the mental effart from the reader than a random order. Even sorting by length would be preferable by your criteria.
Lastly, but not leastly, what has this to do with CatSort? Please let me remind you that the purpose of this subsection is to find possible objections against CatSort that I may have overlooked. There don't seem to be any, so this section has served its purpose.
If you wish to change policy with respect to category order, the appropriate approach would be to start your own proposal. As a counterargument to IZAK's proposal it has become moot, and it is irrelevant to CatVisor. Paradoctor (talk) 17:59, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

CatVisor

The kid has a name now. Discussion of the tool, rather than the pros and cons of various sorting and grouping schemes can be done at User talk:Paradoctor/CatVisor. Paradoctor (talk) 13:44, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

  • @Paradoctor: Amazing! Welcome to the aptly and brilliantly named CatVisor. And a hearty and genuine Mazel Tov! on the "new arrival" may it and your efforts in this regard be blessed from up on High and grow up to be strong and wise and helpful and a source of only pride and joy and genuine usefulness to Wikipedia and all Wikipedians, users, editors and readers of this great online encyclopedia! Thanks a million! IZAK (talk) 23:44, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
If this project should falter, it won't be for lack of good wishes. Face-grin.svg I'll try to live up to the Vorschusslorbeeren. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 00:07, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales: Welcome to something new to improve the world of WP:CATEGORIES! Please review and direct to the right people at the Wikipedia Foundation who can help out here because User Paradoctor needs all the assistance he can get to bring to perferction and finally complete this complex undertaking that directly improves the usage of Wikipedia, and interface between users and Wikipedia. Thank you so much, IZAK (talk) 03:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Please see my comments below regarding calling in the WMF for a local matter. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:32, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

JQuery workaround

This jquery snippet can be added to your Special:MyPage/skin.js it will sort the categories alphabetically. Sold as seen, no warranties.

jQuery( document ).ready( function( $ ) {
    var $cats_ul = $('#mw-normal-catlinks ul');
    var $cats_li = $cats_ul.children('li');
    $cats_li.sort(function(a,b) {
        if(a.children[0].textContent > b.children[0].textContent) return 1; // needed for Firefox
        return -1;
    });
    $cats_li.detach().appendTo($cats_ul);
});

(Edited by Paradoctor: Use textContent in sort, available in a browser near you.)

Hope its some use.--Salix alba (talk): 19:17, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

I think it will be, thanks. Added to the CatVisor page. Paradoctor (talk) 23:52, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Update requested

@Paradoctor:@Salix alba: Thank you both for the amazing productive input. For the rest of us who are not so technically proficient but have full faith in your capabilities, could you please provide a brief update where things stand and how your efforts are progressing? Thanks in advance! I have tried to alert some others via relevant WikiProjects, but I don't know if anyone has contacted you, and if we need to approach specific WP:EXPERTS with request for more help. Best wishes for success! Sincerely, IZAK (talk) 23:11, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm working on it. I just had very little time the past few days, that's all. Right now I'm ironing out an issue with the toggle buttons, so you can expect something usable quite soon. Paradoctor (talk) 23:38, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Yes! I thought I heard those "wheels" humming and grinding away! I had not wanted this long thread to go to waste, so thanks for the update and looking forward. Take your time and be well! Thanks! IZAK (talk) 01:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@IZAK: There you go: CatVisor alpha 0. Paradoctor (talk) 02:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thanks! 1 Now please could you run us through what we are supposed to be looking at and what we are supposed to do or not to do? 2 My understanding is that the "upgraded" features for categories would be "installed" in the "universal" software running on all Wikipedia pages, or what? 3 Does that need special permission from the technical "powers that be"? 4 Pardon my technical ignorance, that is why we need more direct and clear guidance from you as to what is going on! 5 For example, by looking at the main Germany article and its categories, what am I supposed to see or do, since the categories on that page do not seem to be 100% consistently organized by any clear-cut system, mostly alphabetical though manually done over the years, so how and where does your new technical improvement kick in here? Please help us out! Take care and looking forward to your professional guidance. Sincerely, IZAK (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@IZAK: 1,2,5: You need to install the script into your skin. Please read the instructions at User:Paradoctor/CatVisor#alpha 0. If they are unclear, or you need more information, let me know. I've added usage instructions.
3: No
4: I shall endeavour to be as clear as humanly possible. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 17:40, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Okay thanks, but please tell me what's going on. 1 I have installed the code as you instructed [18] -- is there anything else I should add, for example "User:IZAK/common.css" and how do I do that? 2 Then looking at the Germany article I see that I now have "CatVisor column row sorted unsorted" reading above the categories, but I when I click on any of them I get some slight "shuffling" but nothing actually happens. For example, when I click on "column" -- no "column" (of the categories) appears of takes place. Why is that? what's supposed to happen? 3 I then manually fixed the categories on the Germany article page [19] placing two latterly added categories in their correct alphabetical positions where they obviously should have been placed, but why couldn't I do that with the new "CatVisor" tool? Or isn't that the purpose of the CatVisor tool? 4 What is the purpose and function of the CatVisor tool? 5 Are you sure that CatVisor works for everyone, or are there differences according to browsers and type of software different users use? Sorry to bother you, but like many others presumably will, I am going through a learning curve here. Thanks in advance for all your help and patience. IZAK (talk) 22:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
1: You did it right, nothing more to do.
3,4: What? No, it's the exact opposite. CatVisor (once it is finished) gives you the possibility to arrange the display of categories in any way you fancy, but does not touch the article source. I will include a tool to edit arrangements, and a template will allow editors to offer pre-made arrangements to readers using the tool, but this will not change the order of the categories for non-CatVisor readers, or anything else about the rendered page. I'll update the description. BTW, as mentioned several times in the above discussion, the "slight shuffling" is all the difference you'll get with a handful of categories that are mostly in alphabetical order to start with. Try it on a page with many categories, like Frank Sinatra.
5: No, and I mean NO webpage is displayed the same in all browsers, so there will be differences. Right now, this program at the first stages of being written. What you have is a fragment to play with, not a finished product. The current development goals are described at User:Paradoctor/CatVisor#Planned features.
Everything else: That "column" doesn't work is a bug. Please go to User talk:Paradoctor/CatVisor and a start a new section, and tell me what browser (don't forget the version) on what OS you use, and which skin, if it is not Vector. Paradoctor (talk) 23:25, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thank you for the follow-up information. 1 I had not realized that we still have a long way to go. My hope and objective is that the final product will be an automatic intrinsic feature built into every page of Wikipedia just as all "general" features are, as basic as one's own user page appearing upon logging in. That would be an ideal goal so that everyone can benefit from the work you are doing. 2 What is the approximate time-frame you are working within? A month or more or alternately how much time will the project take to be complete? I do not mean to impose on you in any way, so please proceed at the pace you are most comfortable with. 3 By the way, are you sure this is a one-man project, wouldn't it be better if more technical-type folks got involved? 4 (& @Jimbo Wales:) How about official help from the paid technical folks at the Wikipedia Foundation who raise money specifically for the purpose of implementing technical improvements that help Wikipedia become a better and more usable and organized online encyclopedia? I am sure we should find a way to approach them sometime soon (started: [20]), because this is for the benefit of everyone at Wikipedia, especially if we want to do this right! Thanks again, IZAK (talk) 03:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
1: That would be nice, yes.
2: I wish I knew. One month will clearly not suffice to achieve all I want. The functionality you asked for should be working for you pretty soon, though. You could expedite this quite a bit by providing the information I asked for. You seem to use a browser with incomplete flexbox support, so knowing which one it is would be really useful.
3: "more technical-type folks" Diplomacy is not your strongest suit, it seems. Face-tongue.svg
4: After the crap the WMF just pulled at the German Wikipedia (German), I'm quite certain I don't want the kind of "help" the WMF has to offer. Ras.gif Paradoctor (talk) 19:54, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thanks again! 1 Please understand that like many users my strengths are in the English language, writing and academic research but I lack the information technology background and abilities of "techies" or "technical types" there is no offense meant by that I assure you! 2 That is why I so much appreciate what you are doing and also why I feel that in order to make sorting categories either alphabetically and/or by topic is something that needs to be installed on all Wikipedia platforms in order to be a feature on all Wikipedia pages something we need the "higher ups" to get involved with in order to bring to reality. 3 I have no idea about the incident/s you mention, as it is impossible to know what goes on in the vast universe/s of Wikipedia in all languages. Yet we have commenced something very positive and for that reason I think it is worth it to request that the top people help out. After all what is WP:CONSENSUS all about if it cannot be applied to improve WP itself. Let's see what can be done! Thanks again, IZAK (talk) 01:23, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
"no offense meant" I know, just razzing you a little. Face-wink.svg
"appreciate what you are doing" Nice to hear that.
"needs to be installed on all Wikipedi" Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We don't even have a beta fit for general release. Give people a chance to try a working version and tell us whether they like it. As you saw for yourself, using CatVisor does not require integration into MediaWiki, so that would be mere frosting on the cake. The real effect that would achieve is promotion, and that would be premature right now.
"worth it to request that the top people" If you think the WMF are the "top people", you don't understand how the Wikipedia community works. The problem with WP:Superprotect is exactly that they introduced it for the sole reason of overriding consensus at the German Wikipedia. It is their position now that how we configure the software is their decision, not the community's. Welcome to New Wikipedia Order. Face-sad.svg
Having said that, do what you feel you must, just don't expect my support in involving the WMF. Paradoctor (talk) 05:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Paradoctor: Thank you for your feedback! Obviously as the hands-on "architect" of this innovative program you have a better sense of the bigger picture. But as someone who is trying to follow what you are trying to do, lacking your obvious technical expertise, there are always surprises that this is going to be a longer process than most would have assumed. I am not into the "politics" of how WP works behind the scenes, nor do I want to go there. My only concern always is to improve WP content and functionality, something that obviously needs a lot of improvement in the area of WP:CATEGORIES something we both agree on. My efforts at this stage were merely to do a little "jump starting" and "prodding" so please do not misunderstand that effort. I hope to be able to support you fully if any questions or challenges arise. Sincerely, IZAK (talk) 22:32, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
"longer process than most would have assumed" There is a MediaWiki bug requesting a category intersection feature that has been filed almost a decade ago. And that one would be really important, IMHO. Anyway, expect a new feature added or two this weekend. Face-wink.svg
"hope to be able to support you" You can! Head over to User talk:Paradoctor/CatVisor and tell me if the newest version works for you or not, and what browser you use. Feedback is important for software development, unless you are an entomologist. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 22:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Help from Wikimedia Foundation requested

This is the start of a formal process to request help Wikimedia Forum#Help Needed: For Project started to improve CATEGORIES on WP; Talk:Tech/News#Help Needed: For Project started to improve CATEGORIES on WP; Tech#Help Needed: For Project started to improve CATEGORIES on WP, from the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent body that runs Wikipedia, to provide help in the successful completion of the above, see #CatVisor; #JQuery workaround; #Update requested and everything on User:Paradoctor/CatVisor. Hopefully we can get some meaningful responses going here. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 02:18, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I think that posting to Meta and calling in the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is a very bad idea for what is a purely local (i.e. within English Wikipedia) matter. If Paradoctor (talk · contribs) needs any help in writing the JavaScript, I'm sure that they will ask those script developers that they have previously worked with; and if necessary, will ask in local venues - such as WT:US and WP:VPT.
The feature being developed by Paradoctor can be used straight away by any registered user by following the installation instructions, but they need to be aware that it is still in development. Once it is out of the alpha stage (and ideally out of the beta stage too), it can be made available, on an opt-in basis, to all registered users of English Wikipedia by setting it up as a WP:GADGET. None of these actions require WMF intervention, but setting up a gadget requires local consensus. If it's made opt-out, there will be outcry (especially so if it's not passed beta testing); you just need to follow WP:VPT for a few weeks to see what happens when an opt-out feature is enabled. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I think we've got at least two currents going on at the same time. I am interested in the initiative that was expressed at the top of this thread. It was to replace editor-controlled ordering of Categories with an automatic, software-controlled ordering of Categories. I think that the simplest criteria by which software might control the ordering of Categories might be alphabetical but I don't think alphabetical ordering is the only possible criteria that could be used, and I admit to having no expertise in this area. But I think we should keep it simple. I see this as no big deal. Just take it out of the hands of editors and be done with it. Communicate to the reader in one simple sentence in the Categories box the criteria that the software is using. This isn't the article; this is navigation. Bus stop (talk) 12:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I can see above no general enthusiasm or even consensus for the idea of "automatic, software-controlled ordering of [c]ategories". -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The idea definitely does not have consensus. As I have said above, I can support an Opt-in gadget (which give the choice of how categories appear to the individual editor), but not an automatic bot. Blueboar (talk) 13:48, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Michael Bednarek: There is no rationale behind the tinkering with the ordering of Categories but you are invited to present such a rationale. There is just a jumble of reasons that vary by editor. The reader has no way of knowing what thinking was going on in the mind of the last editor to tinker with the order of Categories at an article. How does that help the reader? We haven't the foggiest idea what the reader is looking for, and we should stop being so presumptuous as to think we can "help" the reader with something that we know nothing about. We should be aiming for uniformity. The whole project can have one means by which Categories are ordered. That consistency is of value in and of itself. It allows the reader to use the encyclopedia with predictability. The alphabet is familiar to all. But I am open to other systems by which software can unify, project-wide, our layout of Categories in the Category box. Bus stop (talk) 14:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Blueboar: Once User Paradoctor made his subequent suggestion/s above and started to implement his "CatVisor" solution no one has objected, in spite of what was said in initial discussions, therefore this means that as things stand, people are in agreement with the latest most recent postings and work by Paradoctor and not with the initial objections to the concepts I had proposed at the outset. Please let us know, and this goes for anyone else, if anyone truly objects to the improvements that Paradoctor is creating and implementing. At this stage we still do not know how far his program/s will be implemented simply because as he reports, it is a "work of art in motion" and needs time to be appreciated for its functionality, usability and full worth and value. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 22:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I have no objection to CatVisor either... In fact I heartily approve of it. CatVisor gives each editor who uses it the ability to see the cats ordered as they wish. The best part is that it is optional. If someone does not like it, they don't have to use it. What I was saying does not have consensus is the original idea of an automatic (as opposed to optional) bot-controlled ordering. Blueboar (talk) 23:52, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I do not object to any script or gadget that changes the display order of categories for the person who is actually using that script or gadget. If any script, gadget, bot or other automated tool changes the order for all people - i.e. if it alters the saved wikicode of the page - then I certainly do still object, and for my original reasoning. --Redrose64 (talk) 05:38, 23 August 2014 (UTC)